Town Head Coach Luke Williams addressed members of the local media on Monday ahead of tonight’s Sky Bet League One clash against Gillingham at The County Ground. Here are the key points from what he had to say…
ON RECENT RESULTS & PERFORMANCES:
“It is important to try and keep some level of consistency now.
“The last two performances were very good and it was a decent points return, but we need to continue in that way.
“Knowing the players around you and having a better relationship with the players around you and for me as a coach to be able to bit by bit build the performances is easier than wholesale change week in and week out.
“If the players on the pitch are able to keep producing then they can stay there for longer and it is a frustrating time for the players that aren’t in the side.”
ON KEEPING A SETTLED SIDE:
“We were forced into many changes earlier in the campaign - we went to Gillingham without a striker and we played Conor Thomas as a defender many times, even though he’s a midfield player and was brought in as a midfield player.
“There was a period where I wasn’t in charge of picking the formation and the personnel, so I’m trying now to keep something familiar and, more importantly, something that works.
“Hopefully that will be the case from now until the end of the season.”
ON DEALING WITH PRESSURE:
“The thing that is evident is every game from the beginning of the campaign is must-win. The pressure does build and in the end it is not must-win because we want to have a great campaign, it is must-win because we need to stay in League One.
“The pressure has shifted, it has always been there, but it has probably shifted and it appears that the players are more capable of dealing with the pressure judging on the last two games and hopefully that will be evident again tonight.”
ON GILLINGHAM AND THE IMPORTANCE OF TONIGHT’S GAME:
“We want to drag everyone back in and the more teams below us the better, so if we can inflict some damage on the people around us then that will be fantastic.
“Gillingham know that it is important for them not to get into a bad run of form and losing games - they know they are close to that dotted line as well so I would think they will come here to get all the points to try and pull away from trouble.
“We’ll be doing the same.
“They are a difficult opponent to play against and they’ve got plenty of knowhow and plenty of pace and power in the team, but they’ve struggled to find the consistency in the same way that we have.”
ON DEALING WITH TEAMS’ PHYSICAL THREATS:
“Both Oldham and Coventry went very direct against us with some very physical players and tried to unsettle us and pick up second balls, but in both games we dealt with it extremely well.”
ON TOWN’S BRILLIANT SUPPORT:
“The support was brilliant on Saturday but they need something to shout about and we need to give them something to be excited about - we can’t expect them to just be in full voice when there is nothing exciting to watch.
“We have to do that bit and then they will support us - that has never been in doubt.
“We absolutely understand the frustration and it is our job to put something in-front of them that they can get excited about.
“The responsibility is for us to start something and for the fans to follow our lead.”