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MANAGER: I wanted greater pressure in wide areas

Steven Pressley on the importance of players playing to formation

16 September 2019

With the Blues having picked up an important victory at the weekend manager Steven Pressley spoke more about the need to get things right at both ends of the pitch as we head into another busy run of fixtures.

Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: From the Stevenage away game

14 September 2019

“A frustrating aspect from Saturday is that we conceded the two goals, and we will never be happy about that,” he said. “The change of formation was because I felt that from a defensive perspective in recent weeks we were giving up too many crosses, and I wanted to get greater pressure in the wide areas.

“When you have the additional player in there, in the deeper position, it allows you to get extra pressure on the ball. Alongside that, when we have possession it gives us greater width, and it’s a really effective counter-attack shape.

“We have clear principles that we play to and the 3-4-3 doesn’t deviate a great deal from that. It allowed us to make the transition from the way we’d been playing without too much change.

“But for their goals, I felt with the first one we didn’t deal with the second phase when we had personnel in the position. On the second goal I felt we let the cross come in too easily when we could have got pressure on the ball. I was disappointed with both of those aspects.”

Match Previews

MATCH PREVIEW: Home to Forest Green midweek

16 September 2019

A feature of the performance at the Lamex was the speed at which the away side counter-attacked, with winger Harry McKirdy right at the heart of it.

“Players like Harry are vitally important at every level,” he told us. “Harry at times can be a little bit frustrating, particularly in his defensive qualities, but we’re working hard with him on those. He doesn’t always get them right, but he’s a player that can really make the difference.

“His first finish was terrific. He went through earlier and was unfortunate, then he gave us a great finish for the third goal. I’m really pleased for the kid, he’s really passionate about football, takes it very seriously, and I’m pleased to see that.

“It’ll take time, but he’s a devastating young player when he’s at it. When he has the ball you always think something’s going to happen. He was disappointed that he didn’t play the previous week, and when I speak to him he’s always stressing how disappointed he is, and I like that.

“But it’s important not to show your disappointment on the pitch or in training, show me you should play. He did that today.

“I think he’s progressing, he’s growing all the time and is going to prove to be a really important player for us.”

With wide man Nathan Thomas also chipping in with a goal, he said: “These players are really contributing. We have to also remember that although he didn’t score,  Fela’s contribution was terrific.

“He was very physical. One thing we worked towards was to see Fela linking the play and for McKirdy and Thomas to run through. Fela did that to great effect and out of possession he worked tirelessly for the group.

“We saw good energy from Mo Sagaf when he came on and he’s played all of these positions prior. He’s such a great kid and he just wants to be involved and play. He got his assist for the all-important third goal.”

And on the signing of defender Gethin Jones, he explained: “I thought that was it with signings but I’m grateful they managed to find the finance to get him in until January.

“I don’t want to make any false promises but at this moment in time I’d imagine that’s it, but you never know in football. Gethin coming in gives us flexibility and an option to change systems, so I’m really pleased.”

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

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