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MANAGER: Players are showing me they want to play

Steven Pressley on good performances at Newport and Rangers

11 October 2019

Manager Steven Pressley spoke about what has been a good week of training at his Thursday afternoon press conference following the disappointment of the manner of the defeat against Newport.

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“I told the players in the analysis meeting on Monday that I was really down after the game on Saturday, because it’s not easy to lose a game like that,” he said. “It’s not just you that suffers, unfortunately it’s your family as well.

“My pick-me-up was that on Sunday I watched the game again, and when I saw the efforts of the players and the way we worked and played, it made me really proud. Sometimes in football you can’t always guarantee the end result, but I think you’ll win more games than you lose if you have the type of effort and resilience we showed on Saturday.

“In terms of the week as whole, it wasn’t easy on Saturday, but there are good things to reflect on. Our supporters saw their players give everything at Newport and that’s what we have to try to replicate again when we face Crewe.”

“Last weekend we were far more like the team I’ve envisaged in the way we played and that’s because we were aggressive in many aspects of our game,” he added. “We have to see more of that. We’ve had some great performances this year but we need consistency, and hopefully that will start to come for us.

“The pleasing thing is that I saw with the reserve game on Tuesday that every member of the squad is giving me everything at the moment. All of the players who played at Rangers have shown they want to be in the team.

“When I spoke after the Sunderland and Hartlepool reserve games, I said none of them had done that. There were six or seven of them on Tuesday showing me they want to be playing, and that’s the most important thing. It’s important they all continue to progress and do the things that are asked of them.

“We replicated the system we played at Newport in the reserve game, because we want all of the players to fully understand what’s expected of them in that formation. There were some pleasing things, but the performance at Newport was also one where a lot of players showed me they wanted to be playing this weekend, so I’ve got things to consider. That’s a far better position than we were in a couple of weeks ago.

“Systems can help players, but I keep reminding them that it’s all about how they work in that system. If we play 3-5-2 at the weekend but don’t play with the same intensity and energy as we did at Newport, the system will be less effective.

“It was the same in the reserve game at Rangers. The reason that was effective was because they worked so hard within the system. The system can suit players, but you’ve still got to work hard to make it go the way you want it to go.”

On the injury situation, he commented: “Stefan Scougall got 45 minutes on Tuesday but I think the weekend will probably be too early for him. He could be on the bench but we’ll wait and see.

“We think it’s too early for Nathan Thomas as well. He came in on Monday and still looked a bit worse for wear. He trained on Tuesday, but he’s still looking a bit tired, so I don’t think he’ll be available for the 18 at the weekend.”

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