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MANAGER: We know we need to be winning games

Steven Pressley on turning good performances into maximum points

28 March 2019

Carlisle boss Steven Pressley spoke once again this week about the need to turn the good things his side is producing into wins as the run-in gathers pace with the final month of the season just a few days away.

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“We’re going into what is a massive period for us and we know we have to turn these performances into wins,” he said. “One of the things we must do is tidy up on the mental side of seeing games through. Our mentality has to be that if we play as well as we have been playing, we must win the game.

“I always look at all areas of our performance, and at those aspects we’re working towards, but I know as much as anybody that we need to be getting wins under our belts.

“Some of the football we played at the weekend was top level football for League Two. The speed we played at was really good and the courage of the players to play in that way was strong and good to see.

“I am more than aware that there are still areas to improve on and one of them is turning that type of a performance into a win.”

“I think there are a lot of aspects of our game which have improved in recent weeks and we should also be encouraged by our last away performance,” he continued. “We’re creating numerous chances but we have to start converting them.

“The ratio of goals to chances has to be higher. If you look at the last three performances from just before I first got here, statistically right now we’re better than we were then in terms of chances created, passes and shots on target. We also had two players against Cambridge who smashed their physical data records.

“That tells me there are a lot of good things happening but, and we really aren’t hiding away from this, the only stat that matters is that we have to be winning games. We have to turn the chances into goals, and we have to not give up some of the opportunities we gave up in our defensive third at the weekend.”

Elaborating more on the defensive aspects required, he said: “We’ve changed our approach in recent weeks because we were set up in a way where we were a little bit more defensive in our play prior to the Swindon game.

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“Take the Notts County game out of it, because the type of night it was, but we didn’t really look like a side that was capable of creating the opportunities and moments which would win us the game.

“At the moment we are still working really hard on the defensive aspects, and if you were to speak to the players they’d tell you that we sometimes work harder on them than we do on the attacking areas of the game.

“I had a good analytical meeting with the defenders on Tuesday and we talked about the importance of doing the job properly. It’s an area where we need to improve and, if we do that, we are very close to being a really good team.”

“If we look at what we did defensively on Saturday, that’s a good example,” he commented. “Defensively you always have to have the ‘what if’ mentality where you’re able to react and help to tidy up somebody else’s mistake if it comes along.

“Against Cambridge we weren’t in the right positions to do that and it becomes more likely that the opposition will break through if that’s the case. A little bit more anticipation on those moments is something we need to add to the team.”

“Overall I can honestly say that I see so many good things as I prepare the team, and the reason I get so passionate is because I am seeing improvement in all of the areas we’re working towards,” he concluded. “Nobody is more frustrated than me when we don’t win.  

“It’s becoming more make-or-break with every game that goes by, of course it is. I’ve spoken to the players again about the fact we cannot wait on this moment. This is an unbelievable opportunity, but we have to grasp it. That’s why we have to go into every game we play determined to win.”

Click HERE to watch an interview with Steven Pressley on iFollow United now.

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