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INTERVIEW: They went to war for each other

31 May 2016

Colin West on unity growing within the group

Assistant manager Colin West spoke to us shortly after the season had ended about the sense of unity within the group which led to a real challenge for a play-off place for so much of last season.

“I’d say it was a successful season but it didn’t turn out exactly the way we wanted it to,” he said. “We were going along really well before the floods and but I think that gave us a kick in the ribs a little bit.

“I think we have to be fairly happy overall because it’s certainly been a progression from where we were last year. As a club we wanted to try and take it to the next level but sometimes you have to accept that you can’t run before you can walk.

“The good thing is that we’re getting there and we’re going in the right direction.”

Speaking about the implementation of a new style of play, particularly through the second half of the season, he said: “It all depends on how the players react to it. It’s how they feel within games because there’s the pressure of a match situation.

“It’s easy doing it on the training ground, as we’ve seen, but a game scenario is completely different. Obviously opposition players are looking to shut you down and you have to cope with it and still try to do things the right way. 

“There can be an impact on people’s confidence if things aren’t going their way and the test is whether they can rise to the challenge and get over it. That’s when you really see the characters within the team start to come out.”

“Bringing a new philosophy to the club will always take time,” he commented. “You have players who won’t have played the way you want them to at this level because League Two is more about ‘get up and get at them’. There are teams who can easily play kick and rush when they need to, so it’s about getting your footballers to make the right decisions at the right time. 

“At any level there sometimes has to be a no-nonsense longer pass. What you want then is to see that it isn’t just a hoof up the field. A good example of that is Leicester. They play direct football but it’s always good balls into good areas and they all know what to do when it’s coming.

“Key to it working for us is the recruitment we do. Without being too detrimental to anyone we have a much better group now, as a whole, for us to build on. The lads have knitted together and it’s credit to them for the way they did that.

“They got close and they went to war for each other and that means they’re always going to help each other out if the going does get tough. They took on board everything we tried to do and it’s fair to say they all enjoyed the experience.”

Part two of this interview will appear on the official website on Wednesday morning.

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