Assistant manager Tommy Wright spoke at the weekend of the need for the players and management staff to remain positive ahead of Saturday’s game as they look to turn the current poor run of home form round.
“We were all realistic when we were winning games and I don’t think now is the time to over-react because we’re losing games,” he insisted. “We know that five games without scoring at home is terrible, we aren’t going to hide from that. We haven’t scored for five games, so we need to make sure we score and win the game this week.
“Football changes quickly. If we win next Saturday we could find ourselves on a run, and that changes the whole picture. We have to remain positive, but we have to be realistic as well. These players could easily win three or four games on the bounce, so that’s what we’ll be working towards.
“As a management team you know you need to stay calm, because things can change quickly. The longer it goes on the tougher it gets, of that there is no doubt. It does affect you, we hate losing, but the older you get the wiser you get, and you deal with it much better. We always make sure we look at the bigger picture and we know we have some good players here.
“Things will change, but we have to make it happen. Nobody is going to gift wrap anything for us. All we can ask is to tell the fans to have faith in us because I have no doubt we’ll be back.
“It’s a very open league and we have good players who can turn this round. Five games with not scoring is not something to hide from, it’s horrendous. It has to change.
“It comes down to managing people and situations, and we know we have to deal with different individuals differently in training when things are as they are now,” he added. “Some need a cuddle, some need a kick up the backside, some need to be told the truth and some need their egos inflated.
“It’s about judging how to deal with that as a coach, and the best managers are all good at man-management. It could be that we have to change the way we train because we have to try everything we can think of to get out of this.
“Maybe it could be a different system, or playing a player in a different position, we just need to find the spark that brings the goals and results here at home. The fact is we should be doing better with the players we have on the pitch.
“If we weren’t creating chances it would be a massive worry. Football can be a tough life, people think it’s great and always nice, it just isn’t. You have bad times and that’s when you can’t feel sorry for yourselves. You have to work through it.”
“Part of that was giving the players the chance to say a few words to each other after the game,” he explained. “That always stays private, but it’s good for them to be able to do that.
“I don’t think they talk enough sometimes, and that’s something we’ve highlighted. Anthony Gerrard has a voice and that’s why we made him captain for the game. Danny Grainger was back on the bench and it was good to hear him again.
“He’d only trained for three days so we felt it was a bit too early to start him. We didn’t want his calf injury to happen again, so this full week of training will do him a lot of good. It was nice to hear him sharing his opinion, but we need three or four others to be like that.
“All of the injured lads who are coming back need some training just to help them get back up to speed again. They’re all desperate to be involved, but we think next Saturday will be too early for Hallam [Hope]. I know Dolly is working on him with his magic fingers, so hopefully it’ll be sooner rather than later.
“I think people saw that Tom [Parkes] pulled his hamstring and we think we’ll be without him for three weeks or so, at least.
“The good thing was that the bench looked a lot stronger than it has done recently. We looked better as a squad, after we looked very bare at Lincoln with a lot of young kids on the bench. We’ll be working hard this week and we’ll all be looking forward to getting the chance to turn it around against Newport.”
On off-the-field matters, he confirmed that keeper coach Ross Ballantyne had joined the coaching staff with a view to a possible move south of the border.
“Ross was with us on Saturday, we looked at him and he’s looking at the club,” he confirmed. “He’s been at Hears and Queen of the South, and hopefully we can get something resolved this week.
“It’s an area we wanted to fill and, like I say, hopefully it will work out for all concerned.”
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