On the Last Few Days Since the Villa Defeat...
I was bitterly disappointed after the game, I thought it was an opportunity for us on the back of the previous three games, something for us to build on. We got beat again and that was disappointing. In my industry, in my position you’ve got to show a bit of a stiff upper lip and puff your chest out, broad shoulders. But, I can’t always do that if I’m honest with you, sometimes I, I think we all do probably, wear our heart on our sleeve.
I was just showing my disappointment, I was gutted after the game because I thought the points were there, nothing to do with Aston Villa because they’re a good team, no doubt. But, I just thought on the back of the last two or three performances we can go and get a result here, a positive result.
It didn’t happen, the nature of the goals we gave away was disappointing again, so that was bitterly disappointing. But, it’s gone, it’s done, it’s finished, I’m very much looking forward to Saturday. Another chance to get that elusive win that we so desperately need, you know. That’s gone, it’s done, I’m ready again, training this morning, it’s no problem.
What More Can You Say to the Players?
All they’ve got to do is max out, that’s all they have to do, they’ve just got to give what they’ve got. We didn’t do that Tuesday night. So, that’s all they can do and then there’s not a lot that I can say. There wasn’t a lot I could say to them after Bolton, we lost the game but we performed, we did enough to get something from the game, we didn’t do it and that’s just football.
It’s the games like the Aston Villa game where we’re not good enough. Those are the games that you can never get the 90 minutes back and it’s a dreadful feeling after it, those are the disappointments. The other games, if you perform and you have a go and you’re in the games and you have the right intent, you win or lose. Sometimes it’s in someone else’s hands, whether that’s a referee or just good play by the opposition. But, it’s the ones where you can do more yourself, those are the disappointments and that was evident on Tuesday.
For me, I’ve just got to try and make sure that they keep believing. As low as it is, as everyone is, as hard as it is and were already written off with 10 games to play, were still only 4 points off. The teams around us are losing, but it won’t last forever that. Our future is still in our hands, somewhat and that’s what we have to hang onto and that’s what we’ve got to keep believing in.
The games are running out, of course. Still 30 points to play for and we’re 4 points adrift, we’ve got to make sure, hook or by crook, no matter how we do it, that gap is getting smaller rather than larger.
Will it Take Something Extraordinary to Stay Up?
I think every day ordinary people do extraordinary things, every day, not just in football. When you’re right in the middle of it sometimes you can’t see a way out. You get dragged down every day by disappointment and negativity and if you let it keep you there then that’s where you’re going to stay.
Me personally, I get disappointed after poor performances and that lasts for probably 24 hours. The other thing is, there is another game coming up, there’s always another game and another chance. That’s where my optimism stays, there’s another chance in front of us to go and put it right, but we haven’t won for 8 games, I think it is.
When you’re on a run like that, in our position, that can have a lasting effect If you let it, or you change it. Like you rightly say, it can be changed, it can be changed. No matter about injuries or suspensions, this that or the other, especially in our league, anybody can beat anybody on any given day. So, it can be changed and a positive result can send shockwaves, in a good way.
But, we haven’t had one for a while and that’s what we need to do. No matter what else is going on, we need to get that positive result and a positive result is 3 points. As much as we try to say just try and keep concentrated on the performance, it’s obvious, people are talking about win after win. Until we do it, until we get it, that’s when I think our fortunes will change.
Does History Impact the Chances of Survival?
I don’t think it affects our situation now because most of the players are different and they’re in a different league. But, I think we can take confidence from it, in terms of it can be done. Teams in much worse positions than where we are have pulled it out the bag, so it can be done.
The problem is, every weekend we stay where we are, people lose faith, people lose hope, these press conferences become tougher. You’ve got to ask the questions, I know that, but I’m finding it hard to give you any different answers. It is what it is, it needs to be faced and dealt with and that’s what we’re attempting to do. That’s what I’m attempting to do as a manager, to try and get our players to turn a corner and Saturday is coming.
On Playing QPR...
I think each game is a different challenge. We’re playing Aston Villa who are pushing for automatic promotion, that’s a tough challenge in itself. We’re playing QPR, who are mid-table, not going up and not going down, so they maybe play with a confidence and a swagger and there may be a bit of pressure off them.
It depends on how you look at it, but I say all the time to our players to keep looking at ourselves, concentrate on us. Whatever QPR are doing is their business, we’ve got to concentrate on ourselves and just get ourselves right.
On Breaking the Psychological Barrier...
Absolutely, spot on. Psychologically, we’ve got to get over a barrier, especially at home. Yeah, spot on, state of mind and mentality. Trying to get over, get through or just blocking out any apprehension, because apprehension, if you get too much of that from too many and there’s disaster, as we’ve seen.
It’s not something like what we saw on Tuesday night, where we conceded again seconds before, three times in the last dozen games, three times in a season is bad enough but in the last dozen games where we concede at home, seconds before the referee blows the whistle is mind-boggling really.
It’s definitely a psychological barrier, it’s not like we’re 10 games in, we haven’t got any time to grow into anything, it has to happen now, it has to be now. So, there’s definitely a psychological barrier, that’s for sure.
On Choosing Different Personnel...
We have, we’ve got to try different things, different personnel. The players we’ve got fit at the moment, whoever we use, have got to be ready. They’ve just got to play the game like they may not play the next one, unless they’re very, very good. I think on the back of Tuesday night, it’s inevitable that there will be changes because we’re looking at it going; “How can we get a spark, a little revival in this next game?”
The players we’ve got, we’ve got one or two out, obviously. Tyias Browning will be out for the rest of the season with his groin, he’s done exactly the same as Darron Gibson, so that’s a bit of a blow. O’Shea is doubtful at this point, whether he’ll be available. So, were probably looking at one natural centre half in Lamine. Paddy McNair still won’t be available and Jake Clarke-Salter is suspended and that’s his last game.
We’ve got what we’ve got at the end of the day, but whoever it is, it’s a 90-minute game of football, just give what you’ve got and don’t be afraid of it. We can get a win, we can get a win, we have to believe that. We’re restricted in certain areas but no matter who we’ve got, we’ve got to go and perform.
On Darron Gibson...
At best, Darron will be back in a month. That will be the best-case scenario, it will be three weeks to a month. Then, Saturday to Saturday will be a big ask for him and that will be us pushing it. But, best-case scenario he’ll be three weeks to a month.