United boss John Sheridan spoke more this week about the need to convert more of the chances his side is creating as the club heads into a busy and important December period.
“We’ve spoken so much about this already this season because there have been games we’ve lost or drawn where we’ve missed some really good chances,” he said. “In almost every game we’ve created great opportunities to score, and it does come back to bite you if you don’t put them away.
“What I was wary of was that I was repeating myself, which is why I hadn’t spoken to the press for a couple of games. I know people are getting bored of hearing the same things, and I don’t want that.
“I get so frustrated with what we’re doing because it’s the basics that we’re getting wrong. The reason I bring it up and keep going about these things is because I want to make us better. We’re competing, but the quality of the chances we create mean we should be picking up better results.”
“We’re a team that’s very up and down,” he added. “I’m staying quieter on the sidelines than I normally do, I’m not being vocal or being myself, because I want the players to start to get a grip of things once they’re out on the pitch.
“I’ve said it a few times this season, we can’t do anything [as a management team] once they cross the line. It’s up to them. My job is to try to get them to get it right more often than not. It comes back to taking the chances we create because if we do that, we’ll be winning games.
“Lincoln was a good game for us, in my opinion, because they don’t allow you to sit off. They’re in your face and they come at a tempo which you have to match. We did that for 80 minutes, but we lost the game in the first ten minutes, and I don’t like that.”
Refusing once again to bemoan the injury situation, he told us: “We are short with one or two injuries, but that’s football. Yes, we’d like everybody available, because I’ve said all along that we’ll be more than competing if we can keep everybody fit.
“Without wanting to sound harsh, once a player is injured he’s of no use to me on the pitch, so I have to concentrate on those who are available. I’ll always pick the best team from whoever is there to try and get results.
“That’s the way I work because there’s no point going on and on about what you can’t get or who isn’t available. The squad is good enough to handle it if they all start believing in themselves.”
“We’re out of the cup now but it’s back to league action and we have to try and get back in the mix with the teams above us,” he commented. “We’re disappointed, but you have to work hard and pick yourself up.
“Credit to the lads on Saturday because they didn’t go under. We were in the game but if you don’t put the ball away, and it you get caught day dreaming at the other end, you get punished. It really is as simple as that.
“It’s up to the players to get talking to each other and sorting things out between themselves a little bit more. When things aren’t going your way you have to be mentally strong. That’s when you need strong characters.
“It needs a bit of tough love, in my opinion, and some getting used to not allowing things to go by. People have to get to a point where they won’t accept things out on the pitch. I don’t want them to allow things which have gone wrong to pass by.”
With just a month to go until the January transfer window opens, he said: “I know what kind of players I want, I’d like another five or six if possible, but it’s down to whether or not we can do it.
“In the mean time we have to get on with it, because there are some good players here who keep showing us they can match anyone in this division when they get it right.
“I know the personalities and players I would like, but we’ll just have to wait and see. We’ll be talking to the lads who are already here on loan, and we have another four weeks to sort things out.
“There’s been talk of Ashley Nadesan going back, but we still have four weeks with him. I think Fleetwood’s intention is to sell him on. He’s their player so there’s not much we can do about that. I’d like to keep him, so we’ll just have to wait and see.
“As I’ve said before, I don’t want to bring things like that up, because I want be getting on with it with what I’ve got. If things aren’t there I can’t do anything about it, and I’ve said all along that this squad is good enough to compete well in this division. If we can add one or two more that will be good.”
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