It’s well documented now that Tuesday’s postponement was United’s ninth in a very short space of time, but behind fascinating stats and factoids these situations throw up is the very real concern that the integrity of the competition is being eroded with some clubs now having played up to five games more than their rivals.
When asked how difficult it is for a player to pick things up after a spell like this, he said: “It’s really difficult. I was talking to Nigel Clibbens yesterday and we said, if you don’t do something for a week or two it can become difficult to do it the way you want to.
“The world we live in, you can forget your password for your own laptop if you’ve not turned it on for a month, never mind head a football, go and win a game and give everything for it. It’s hard.
“There’s no getting around or hiding that fact. But it is for anybody who can’t do what they want to do. You just have to deal with that and have adaptability; it will test us beyond any previous team I would imagine, in the position we are to try and do something we shouldn’t really be doing from a financial perspective, that’s to have some sort of really good ending to the season.
“We’re only halfway through and it’s Valentine’s Day next week – and you normally hit that point around Boxing Day. We’re going to have a lot of games, but we have to look forward to playing them.”
“We’ll be playing Saturday-Tuesday all the time, and what is really tough for us is, it would be great if we did have a bit more money, but when we travel down south on Tuesday and have to go back south on Friday, it would be lovely if we could stay down for a few days and do it like that, but we won’t be in that position,” he explained.
“We’re going to be doing miles, games, recovery, massive prep on each opponent, and you may be quite surprised about team selection where we may have won the previous game but there may be two or three changes to that team.
“I’ve done it before, not regularly here because we’re a young, massive squad coming together, we only had seven senior players the previous January in the summer. It’s important to play and get used to rhythm.
“I don’t think that will be as hard to find this time though because we’re already in it. Brennan Dickenson’s fully fit now, Aaron’s at it, start of the season he took time to get into it, Omari Patrick’s hamstring was still in London I think when we started back for pre-season.
“Those boys are at it now so I don’t think it will be as long as you’d think for everybody to get back into their rhythm.”
“Dealing with the disappointment of not having played so many of our games is just another challenge we have to face,” he insisted. “Our lads just want to play football and they’re hungry, but we’ll just have to wait until we get an opportunity to play.
“Then they’ll have to find that rhythm quickly, but they’ll have to take more personal responsibility to being right, which is another hard challenge they’ll have to take on.
“Coping and dealing with things that make you feel disappointed is a great skill. Any successful person has to deal with discrepancy. If you deal with that it makes you stronger for tomorrow. That’s all we can ever be.
“The boys will be fully ready for any opportunity we get to play games and we just have to show a different value, which is patience, which you wouldn’t really put with football – it’s all about hard work and energy, attitude, but we’ll have to be patient and wait. That’s what we’ll have to be.”