Speaking ahead of the weekend’s match at Colchester, Caretaker Manager Mark Sampson believes his side has learned some valuable lessons from last Saturday’s point against Cambridge...
After getting off to a hot start in which Boro took an early lead, a failure to manage the match properly in the second half helped lead to a late equaliser.
Despite the set-back, Sampson is able to draw on the many positives shown from his side.
“The working week is pretty clear for us. It is about reviewing the previous performance, looking at what we need to fix to improve for next week and also building on some of the positives.
“Particularly from last week, the first 20 minutes of the game was arguably the best 20 minutes of football we have produced this season. We should have wrapped the game up in that spell alone with the chances we created, the way in which we defended, set up and created those attacks.
“Then obviously in the second half there were moments in the game where we just didn’t manage the game as well as we should have. That has been a big talking point for us - that we play the game in-front of us, recognising where the opponents are hurting us, where we can adapt to stop that and how we react both from a psychological and tactical point of view.
“And also, making sure we continue to ask the opposition questions with the ball. Even though we might be under the cosh defending, we need to make sure we are a threat on the counter-attack and finding the spaces they give us.”
Having now been in charge for four games, Sampson believes that the team are beginning to really understand what makes them tick and that a consistency in training methods has helped bed that in.
He hopes to see his team grab Saturday’s match by the scruff of the neck, much like at Forest Green Rovers in the Club’s last away outing.
“The mindset with this group is confident and positive. We need to play more pro-active football, we know that. We need to take control of our own destiny, take it into our own hands and make sure we are doing the things we need to do in-order to win football matches.
“We understand that when we reflect on our best performances, both individually and collectively, we now know what we need to do to be at our best, so we are working on that in a regular basis.
“We are very consistent with our training methodology to make sure that players understand what we are trying to do and when you know what you end to do to be at your best, it gives you understanding and clarity on the field.”
Colchester United are one of the in-form teams in the division and Sampson says that although his players are confident, a positive mindset from everybody associated with the club is required to give the players that added boost needed in-order to pick up all three points.
“It is now about executing on Saturday. Colchester are an excellent side, there is no denying that. I was at the game where they turned Tottenham over in the Cup so they have obviously got the confident boost of that. They are very well organised and a nice balance of youth, experience, pace and power, so we will certainly need to be at our very best to get a result on Saturday, but we feel ready for that performance.
“We are going to go there confident, with a plan and making sure we are ready to execute it. If we get that right, we will get the three points which is what we really need.
“If there is one lesson that we learned from Saturday it is that the power of the collective is strong.
“When we are together, we are going to go in the right direction. It is so, so important at the moment that if we want our players to show that courage, conviction and personality on the field, that between the whistles we are all behind them.
“From the supporters to the staff, that we are giving the players our 100% backing and I can promise you they care so much. His is huge for them, they want to make this work and they are confident they will.”
Subscribe to iFollow for only £4.49 a month & gain full access to all official videos, including all interviews, full match highlights and also live match commentary.
To find out more about our video service, please click here.