Assistant manager Tommy Wright gave us his reaction to Tuesday night’s victory over Port Vale at Brunton Park as United registered their fist home win since March under the new management team.
“It was a tough game, but I thought we were excellent in the first half,” he said. “We should have maybe been further ahead, but we stopped playing in the second half really.
“We lost our belief in passing the ball and they penned us in a bit with long balls forward. It was similar to the last 15 minutes of the Cheltenham game, so we need to get better at that.
“We have to keep our heads and pass from the back because, when you keep kicking it long, more often than not it’s going to come back at you.”
“I thought George Glendon changed the game a bit when he came on, and we looked a bit more dangerous,” he added. “We had a 20-minute spell when we were just kicking it long and it was coming straight back, so they had a few chances, but I thought we deserved the points in the end.
“When you have a bad spell in a match it’s sometimes difficult to pick yourself up, so we thought we needed to make a change and George would go in there and give us a bit more depth and support in the middle of the park.
“I’ll look at the game tomorrow, but he got a number of passes in and helped us get through it. He kept the ball moving and got us going forward again.”
And he confirmed that there is no room for resting on the laurels despite back-to-back wins in the last four days.
“We know we’ve still got work to do,” he commented. “We need to see games out when we’re in control of the ball, which we were. They had one little chance in the first half when one of their shots went wide, but we had numerous chances.
“We passed it well in the first half, and if we don’t do that with the type of players we’ve got it will be very difficult to compete, because we’re not a long ball or physical team. There are a lot of teams like that in this league, and I don’t mean any disrespect by that, it’s just the way they play. We have to believe in what we’re doing, we’ll keep believing in it and we’ll keep coaching the players to believe in it.”
“Like I say, we had a lot of the ball in the first half and that’s the way we want to play,” he continued. “When the pressure comes on we need to keep believing that we can still pass the ball, because that relieves the pressure.
“We’ve only been here a couple of months, so we’re working on it."
And with the winner coming from a great delivery, he agreed that set pieces have a big part to play as the chances continue to flow.
“We won the game with a corner, so they are important,” he said. “We had a lot in the first half, and we were getting great quality into the box. I thought Benno [Richie Bennett] maybe should have scored the first one, where the keeper tipped it over, because he’d lost his marker well.
“I’m sure the fans like what we’re trying to do and appreciate the way we’re trying to play, and we’ll keep getting better. We’ve got some good players, but they have to believe in themselves more because they’re better players than they believe they are.
“We’ve got technically good players, and this is what we keep telling them, they need to get on the ball more and more. They aren’t as good at tackling people, running about and being physical, so they have to play to their strengths.
“We’ll keep demanding more from the players. We’re trying to encourage them in a certain way, so they believe in themselves, which will make them better players. We want to play well and entertain our fans.
“As I was walking into the ground tonight a fan stopped me and said we were very attacking, and I joked and said that we don’t coach the defensive side of things. The fans pay their hard-earned money so we want to go out there and pass the ball and create plenty of chances.”
On the confidence the group will take from their performances so far this season, he told us: “We could have gone into the dressing room at full time and just said ‘well done’ because we’d won, but they were making fundamental mistakes out there in the second half.
“We’re trying to encourage them to get on the ball, because we’re educators and teachers and we just want to make them better. We’re creating a lot of chances, but we’ve just won by one goal in both games so far.
“If you gave me that every week, we’d take them, because we’re just happy to be winning games. I haven’t had a look at the league table but it’s always better to be in the top half at whatever stage of the season. There were a lot of draws in the league tonight, but there’s a long way to go.”
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