United boss John Sheridan spoke to us about what has been a good week of training as the group looks to bounce back from the disappointing run of home defeats against Newport County this weekend.
“Training is always good, to be fair to the lads,” he said. “We always work hard and we know what we’re trying to achieve but, let’s be honest, training is totally different to a game situation.
“In a game there’s the importance of winning and the points you need, but I can’t fault the attitude they all show towards the work that needs to be done during the week. We’ll carry on working hard to try to improve because we want to get back to winning ways.”
“What we can’t run away from is the fact that we aren’t scoring goals, because it just isn’t good enough,” he continued. “I can analyse it all and sit down and think about what the cause of this is, and we can talk about what we should be doing better, but as far as everybody is concerned, me included, they’re all just words at the moment.
“I’m the type of manager who tries to make everything as simple as possible and easy to understand in terms of how I want us to play and how I think we can win games. That’s why it is frustrating that this is happening to us here because away from home we’ve looked solid.”
“I don’t actually think the performance was terrible on Saturday, but the biggest downer for us all right now is that we aren’t finding the back of the net,” he commented. “That means we aren’t giving ourselves a chance to win any of these games.
“The longer that goes on the edgier and more nervous everyone gets about it. It’s got to a stage now where we’ve gone five home games without a goal and people are probably coming here expecting that we aren’t going to score, and that it’s another game we’ll lose.
“I’ll be honest, when Yeovil got their free kick at the end of the game on Saturday I thought to myself that something was going to happen for them. That’s just the way it gets.
“We can remind ourselves that we’ve had lots of shots at goal and we’ve had decent possession, plenty of corners and set pieces, but we just haven’t scored a goal, and that’s the only stat that matters in a situation like this.”
“I’d just like to get that feeling of scoring first at home and seeing where we go from that,” he said. “I’m not going to beat around the bush or patronise anyone, to not score at home in five consecutive games is simply just not good enough.
“I know it’s so difficult for the supporters to come and watch us at the moment. They pay their money and we’re giving them nothing back. It’s hard for them, and it’s difficult for me as a manager because I want us to win.
“You ask yourself if you should play players in different areas or formations, to firstly get us that goal, and then to get us the three points. I always believe that the decisions I make are right, but I do look at myself more than I look at anyone or anything else if it doesn’t go our way.
“What I won’t do is try to give you clever answers or look for excuses. Our fans have been to the games, and they’ve stuck by us so much. I’m really appreciative of the support we’ve had - yes you can hear one or two groans, but I actually expected more than we’ve had.
“They’ve been with us, but they’re bound to be frustrated, because we all are. I know the players care and that they’re bothered about it. We know it’s only us, as a group, who can turn this round. We’re going into the game on Saturday wanting to win it because we do desperately want to turn it round.”
Speaking about what’s needed to get the home results coming in again, he said: “At times like this you need to show a bit of character and have the desire to go out and prove people wrong. We do need to do that because people are expecting us to get beat again.
“What I won’t ever put it down to is the lads not trying. They do, they want to win games, but they’re just not getting the rub of the green at the moment. However, we know you make your own luck in this game, so there are things we have to start doing better. We do it away from home, but we need to start doing it here at home, where it’s more important.
“The frustrating thing is that I looked at the last five home games and, with no disrespect to any of the teams we played, I expected to win them all. We didn’t do that, but we have to learn from it and make sure we’re better going forward.”