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INTERVIEW: The togetherness is still there and that's vitally important

13 March 2017

Assistant manager Colin West on pulling together to get results

Joint assistant manager Colin West spoke to us today about the determination within the group to get back to winning ways following an important team meeting held at the ground on Sunday afternoon.

“I think it’s fair to say everybody is hurting,” he said. “That’s the players, the coaching staff, the directors and certainly the supporters, because they’ve been fantastic with us from day one.

“Nobody has enjoyed the results but we’re always a team that thinks positively before we go into every game. Circumstances have been going against us recently, but we have to deal with that.

“In this league the first goal is massive and we found ourselves behind on Saturday to a penalty, which maybe should or shouldn’t have been given. That gave them the momentum at a time when both sides were looking to gain a foothold.”

“We had a big meeting with the players yesterday and we were able to get their thoughts on what’s happening at the moment,” he told us. “We were able to show them video clips of scenarios where we felt things could have been done differently and where passages of play could have been improved.

“Meetings like that are invaluable because you get the experienced lads saying what they think about the way we’ve played, and every player gets a chance to say what they think about each other in a very constructive way.

“That’s an example of us all working together, as we have been all season, and we haven’t lost that. We’ve had some results go against us but the togetherness is still there. That’s vitally important.”

Without looking for excuses, we asked how much of an impact the recent run of injuries had made on both performances and results.

“It has played a massive part because the players who have been injured are key players within our football club,” he told us. “If you take those types of characters and players out of anybody’s first team they’d struggle.

“It’s had an impact on us but hopefully we’ll get some of them back sooner rather than later. We thought we were getting back to full strength, but we lost a few more, and that’s just football for you. It has to be dealt with.

“These situations give opportunities to other players to perform and we all have to get over it. Some of these lads have been waiting for their chance, mostly because the team had been doing well, and it’s now their turn to get out there and show us what they can do.”

The next opportunity for that comes in the game against Luton Town at Brunton Park on Tuesday night.

“We don’t want to let this slip away so we have to get back to what we’re good at,” he said. “We’ve got to be positive, we’ve got to play in the opposition half and we have to get the other team under pressure.

“Every game we play from now until the end of the season is a big one. We’re into the business side of it and what we’ll be looking for from the Luton game is a result. It doesn’t matter how we get it, we just need to do it and then kick off from there.

“Mental strength is a massive part of this game and we know we’ve got that in our group. There’s a feeling that we do need the rub of the green to go our way because at League Two level players can get affected if they feel things aren’t.

“We know we’ve got good footballers in there but we haven’t been as positive in our play over recent weeks. These lads can pop the ball around quickly but we need to see more of it so that we aren’t dallying on the ball or getting pressed.

“There is a nervous atmosphere around but I don’t think anybody is doing it deliberately. Everyone is feeling a little bit of anxiety at the moment.

“If you’re playing at a fast tempo, with confidence, things will happen for you. We have creative players so we want to see more entries into the box and people getting on the end of them.”

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