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MANAGER: We'll be concentrating on us

Chris Beech looks ahead to the Scunthorpe game

17 September 2021

Scunthorpe are next up at Brunton Park on Saturday, and with the Blues unbeaten at home so far this season they’ll be looking to continue that trend with a response to the disappointment of the manner of the defeat in the Crawley game last weekend.

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“I’ve said this before but it doesn’t matter where teams are in the table, or anything like that, it’s about what happens on the day,” manager Chris Beech told us. “It is an opportunity but I suppose if you look at the fixtures we’ve won, Swindon and Salford, you’d look at that and think maybe that’s not as big an opportunity.

“In terms of who you’re playing, it’s a little bit irrelevant. It’s all about how you are, what you do, how you represent your energy, attitude and intensity, and if they’re all bang on you have every chance of winning any League Two game.

“We have to make sure we’re ready come 3pm on Saturday. We’ll go into it with a game plan, there may be changes from a defeat from last week as we look at different things, and Thursday, Friday we look to understand the Scunthorpe strengths, because they do have some real threats, and we absolutely must respect that.

“But if we concentrate on ourselves we know we have very good players who can do very good things, and we have to make sure we have six or seven of them doing it on the same day at the same time. It’d be nice of all 11 could do it, but there you go.”

“As ever we will look to put our mark on the game and, as we’ve seen, we have been strong in parts of games this season,” he continued. “You can’t disrespect Salford, or the talent they have in their side, but it’s commendable how we dealt with that and moved on to win the game.

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“Generally at home in the previous games – Orient, Colchester, Hartlepool Papa John’s – we’ve started very strong and we’ve seen the traits we keep talking about. We’ve done well in that respect, but we want to see it more consistently within games for longer periods. That’s what we’ll try to do on Saturday.”

“We’ve worked hard on how we want to be but, once again, that’s what we do every week,” he said. “But I’ve already talked about how we couldn’t have two more different types of away performances in Swindon and Crawley, yet the aspects of what you’re trying to do are exactly the same.

“There was only one change to that team – Kelvin Mellor replacing George Tanner. We didn’t plan to play that way last week, that’s for sure.

“It was far too slow for what me and Gav want. The quality of individual decisions wasn’t quite right. It does happen in football, there was absolutely nothing within that first half between the teams, it wasn’t a great spectacle, but of course it was separated by a corner.

“If we do our jobs correctly things change from that point anyway. I was really pleased with how we played in the second half, really pleased with the quality of goal we scored, really pleased with the players involved in that goal and the changes we made to create that goal.

“I remember often having interviews last season about a lack of change in what we did. But we generally started and excelled within games with the personnel we had at the time. I definitely want to start games better, but we have done that very well bar a couple of anomalies in nine games played.

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“In my opinion we’ve probably had two or three starting games where I’m not as happy as I normally would be. But I’ve got to remember sometimes where we’re playing, trying to improve our away record too.

“Often you don’t have to be a big firework display to end up getting your three points. It’s making sure the end of the race, when the referee blows that whistle, you end up on the right side. Me and Gav have to be mindful of that.”

And it goes without saying that the dressing room will be wanting to make a point.

“There was a lot of frustration, they felt we could have stepped on and won the game, it was there for us to do that,” he agreed. “We didn’t do that, but we have shown traits of fighting back.

“We weren’t really questioned last season because we weren’t in that position in terms of the first half of the season. But what we need to do is enhance opportunity when we gain a yard in a game.

“We definitely did that with good play, good control, good goal, but we didn’t step on the neck after that point. That was a little bit disappointing, but I know the players shared that frustration.”

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