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INTERVIEW: It has to give you belief

11 April 2015

Assistant manager Colin West with Dagenham match reaction

Assistant manager Colin West gave us his reaction to the home victory over Dagenham shortly after full time on Saturday.

When asked if it was a massive victory, he said: “I think you’ve just hit the nail on the head in terms of getting over the line with the result.

“It was never going to be a pretty game, because of the conditions, but fair play to the lads for their reaction. The wind was horrendous in both halves, it was changing all over the place, but we managed to deal with it.

“We’ve obviously spent time talking about Monday, and about what the manager said about that performance, because it was documented quite a lot. The lads have taken that on the chin, got on with it and pulled out a very good result.

“We’ve all been saying that the important thing was to see a response. Everyone has been talking about the fact we’ve heard all of that before. They’ve produced it for us this time and they’ve seen out a hard fought game.”

“I thought we looked the better side in the first half,” he told us. “I don’t know what the lads think, but even going in at half time at 0-0 the coaching staff felt confident. We’d been dominant and we’d created chances, with one of them hitting the post, so we knew we just had to keep that up.

“The deliveries into the box were great and, when that happens, you’d like to think your players are in a positive frame of mind. If you’re on top of a game, as we were, it has to give you belief.”

“We went for a change of formation and it was something we’d worked on a lot during the week,” he explained. “We thought they would play something slightly different, because of what our chief scout had seen, so we wanted to shore things up on the defending side of it. The idea was for the wing backs to give us width in that way.

“The experienced lads really stepped up for us within that. They came to the forefront and everyone tried to use the ball in the right areas. Gary [Dicker] was a little bit off the pace of the game at the start, but that was understandable. He really came into it and he organises people around him, which is important. He’s one of our better passers of the ball over a shorter distance and he keeps the continuity going. I think he worked quite well off Jason [Kennedy] as well.”

“I obviously take the warm up and there was definitely more focus in the group today,” he said. “It’s strange, and I’ve mentioned this before, but I can sense from that how things are going to be. They had it right today. But we’ve had that before only to see that we haven’t started very well.

“What I’m looking for is to see if one or two of the lads are a little bit sloppy. I try to bring them into line if that’s the case and we take it from there. Like I say, it’s a very strange thing because sometimes you’re sure it’s going to go well and it doesn’t. On other occasions it goes the way you expect it to.”

“The celebrations for the goal from everyone, including the fans, was excellent,” he agreed. “Even more so when you consider it wasn’t a pretty game to watch. We had to put balls into areas and try to put them under pressure that way, and the supporters were right behind us.

“Patrick [Brough] came running back past me after the goal and I told him I thought he should have been volleying it into the back of the net. He said ‘I can’t believe Jason got a touch on it, because it was going in!’ I thought he was a bit tentative with it because normally you would think a player would just go for it and volley it. 

“Jason did get it and I think he’s been a breath of fresh air for us. He goes and attacks things and I used him as an example to everyone else earlier in the week. I said to them that he is in here on loan and he’s working his socks off for us. I’d like to think our players feel they have to get alongside him at the very least. He’s been a real catalyst for us.

“His current spell is up tonight and we’re certainly trying to get that extended. We need to speak more to Bradford, and to him, and I think he’s keen to do it because he’s enjoying playing games. Paul Corry is in the same position and that’s another one we’ve made inroads into. He’s another we’d like to keep around, but we need to speak to everyone concerned.”

On the way the team played after going ahead, he said: “The good thing was that we didn’t sit back on the one goal. I’d like to think we can use the ball better than we did though, and that comes from being calmer in possession. 

“We’re working with the lads as a group and individually on that because sometimes you just need to take the steam out of the game. Our game management was better but let’s not forget they hit the bar in time added on. Again, that comes from people being switched on. If you see a player who needs to be marked, go and deal with it. 

“The knock on from that should be that someone else will pick up your man, and it filters on from there. Players who spot danger have to organise the others around them to stop these situations from happening. There’s always a job to do and if someone is spare then make sure they’re picked up, it’s as simple as that. But the positive is we earned our luck, and I don’t think too many would argue with that.”

“We did sit deep in time added on but that can happen, for whatever reason,” he commented. “It isn’t great to watch as a coach, to be honest with you. Mind you, it’s better when you’re one up than it is when you’re chasing the game. 

“I didn’t realise Keith [Curle] wasn’t beside me most of the time because I was concentrating on my job. There were a couple of occasions when I turned round and I noticed he was in the dugout, but my focus was out on the pitch.”

On the red card for Troy Archibald-Henville, he said: “From what I saw there was a bit of a melee, but things had been going on for the majority of the game between Troy and Labadie, rather than him and the other lad at the back. 

“I can only go by what Troy has said, and I also spoke to the referee a moment ago. He said the two of them had a grapple, fell over and it looked as though they were coming together and rolling around. Other people got involved and made it look worse than it was. It’s one we’ll look at again and we’ll take it from there.

“There was a bit of friction at half time as well and the good thing is that everybody is now sticking together. They’re looking after each other and hopefully that will stay the same through the last four games.”

“We have a six point gap now and I hope that helps our players to have a more relaxed approach to how they play,” he said. “We got the result today because of the way the lads responded to everything that’s gone on this last few weeks, and particularly this week. 

“The supporters were very to the point with the players after full time on Monday, and rightly so. The lads have had to take a bit of stick because they’ve realised what was being said was right. The fans pay good money and all they want is to see their team play well. If they can’t get that, the minimum they expect is effort.

“I think there’ll be a bit of relief around today because the players have put all that effort in and they’ve managed to get something from it, rather than have it snatched away. That’s good for them because I think we can all agree they earned it.”

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