Town First-Team Coach Ross Embleton addressed members of the local media on Thursday ahead of his side’s clash against Shrewsbury Town on Saturday, and here’s what he had to say…
ON THE CHRISTMAS PERIOD AND SOUTHEND RESULT:
“Results wise it was nowhere near what we would have wanted it to have been, although there have been some really positive moments in some of the games.
“But, at the time, there have been moments where it hasn’t been to the level we have set out to achieve so it is trying to build on the positives and trying to iron out the issues that we feel are holding us back.
“If you were a neutral then you would have enjoyed our game against Southend. Both teams had a right good go and Southend are a good, strong outfit.
“When we were talking to the opposition staff after the game we all felt that a point was a fair result because both teams had some really, really good chances that on another day you would hope that we would take them and go on and win it.
“We were in a situation at the time when Jermaine Hylton came on in terms of if you make that change and end up losing the game then people might look at that because it was a more offensive change.
“But between us all we looked at what was going to help us be more aggressive and help us try and get all three points.
“Jermaine caused a real big threat, broke away on a number of occasions and could have had one or two goals and he created one or two opportunities for others as well.”
ON LAWRENCE VIGOUROUX’S CURRENT FORM:
“I’ve known Lawrence a long time and I remember him coming to Tottenham when he was 17 or 18 and his professionalism has certainly developed.
“He’s been out on loan and has learnt from being in the big boy environment and has learnt from making mistakes, which is very difficult because people frown on mistakes but as a young player it helps you develop that much quicker when you go into an environment where it matters.
“Lawrence’s professionalism has helped him to become a hell of a lot more focused and he’s got a personality that makes him one of the jokers and one of the ones who makes things light-hearted in the pack but, at the same time, he seems to be able to get his game face on at really important times.
“We went through a few hiccups over pre-season but he’s shown massive leaps from that point on in terms of his focus, his application and making sure that he does his own job properly day in and day out.”
ON WILL HENRY’S CALL-UP TO ENGLAND:
“Credit to Will for getting that call-up because whenever he’s been asked to step up into that first-team environment he’s done that with flying colours.
“He’s had some fantastic performances and it is now another phase of his development to go away to these camps and take everything out of it that he can.
“I know the last one he went to he came back really, really positive about how he felt he compared to goalkeepers at top clubs in the country, in Europe and in the world so that is a big thing for him.
“It must be a huge boost for Will.”
“We’re all pretty clear on the areas in which we feel we can strengthen the group.
“Luke (Williams) and myself aren’t heavily involved in that side of things but there are names that have been mentioned.
“It is well documented that we have fallen a little bit short in terms of performances so it is an exciting period for us and for everybody involved at the club to see some new faces.
“They will freshen the group up a little bit, bring some competition for places and hopefully help bring about a turnaround in performances and results for the rest of the season.
“We need to make sure we’re not just signing a good footballer because, with the greatest of respect, there are lots of good footballers across the country.
“It is about trying to get the right personalities, trying to get somebody who is going to come in here with an open mind to try and understand what the club is about, what stage of their career they are at and what they are going to give to the group and fitting into that quickly.
“It is doing that recruitment positively so we know we are getting some attributes and then working with that player to make sure they fit in and know what the club is about and how we want to play.
“It is then about marrying the two together so he hits the ground running.”
ON TOMORROW’S GAME AGAINST SHREWSBURY TOWN:
“It is a massive game and I felt we performed really well at their place in October, especially first-half.
“We really dominated, scored a good goal and we felt we were going to go on and win it but we made a sloppy error from our own corner to let Shrewsbury back into the game.
“Hopefully we can go out tomorrow and perform to that level again and replicate the first-half performance but for a longer period and come out with the points.
“We want to make sure that we get back to winning ways, get the year up and running and get that first result that we can build on for the rest of the season.
“They haven’t been on a great run of form either so they are going to come here with a game plan and sometimes it is a difficult one to pre-plan.
“We can watch them and we can analyse and look into everything that they’ve done in their last few games, but it doesn’t quite tell you a clear picture in terms of how they are going to approach it.
“Some teams come here and they are aggressive and try and have a go and other teams will sit off, be patient and try and catch us on the counter-attack.
“We’ve got to be best prepared to go and play our best game and deliver a performance in our way, but at the same time be respectful to the opposition and understand where they are going to be strong in order to try and counteract that.
“We will be aggressive and we will take the game to Shrewsbury because we’ll be trying to win the game and get all three points.”