Here are the key points from his pre-match press conference:
It’s a case of as we were really. People are getting better and we should have two or three on the training pitch today. Whether Saturday’s game comes too quick for them, we’ll have to wait and see how they react to training. I’ve seen some of the top managers during the week complaining about two or three injuries – maybe they should walk into Hull City and see the nine or ten players we’ve got on the treatment table. It’s never been an excuse of ours though. We just have to get on with it, but we are hoping for some positive news heading into the weekend.
It’s been a positive week so far. Look, it’s not been an easy time for us, but it’s been a positive week. We were all deflated and disappointed last week at Stoke, but we want to see a reaction against Charlton. This is a good game for us and we want to put on a show. We want to play on the front foot, have a real good go and try to win the game.
We’re always in a positive frame of mind here. We always look to improve in the next game – win, lose or draw. Confidence is obviously a massive thing in football and in life itself, but the only one who can make you confident is yourself and that comes from within. Yes, a lot of people can tell you how good you are or tickle your ego – whatever it might be – but ultimately it’s down to the individual. And that’s not just the players – it’s the staff as well.
The good work at the football club continues. There’s a lot of things that people don’t see. I can’t stress that enough. The results haven’t been great but performance is key for us. We know if we perform we give ourselves the best chance of winning. That is what we’ve been drumming into the group this week. What’s gone is gone now. Yes, a lot of people will still want to speak about the last few games, but we’ve got nine games left now to get back to a level where we know we can be at. We all have to come together at the weekend and produce our best if we’re to get the result we all want. We know what we need to do and we’re very clear on that.
It’s going to be a difficult game – we know that – but we’re very much looking forward to the challenge. Charlton have been on a difficult run of form also, so something’s got to give. Hopefully, it will turn in our favour. We need to perform. It’s as simple as that. We need to make sure we put a confident, strong performance at home and take the game to Charlton.
Defensively, we need to be better as it gives us the chance to build from a better shape or structure. That doesn’t just include our goalkeeper or defence, that’s the whole team and group. Defending starts from the front and we need to make sure that’s the case at the weekend. Do that and we then give ourselves a chance to go and score goals. We’ve conceded early goals in a lot of games recently, and then conceded again in quick succession. That’s probably through a little bit of inexperience or a lack of confidence.
Whatever it may be though, if it happens again – and hopefully it won’t – but if it happens again then we have to find a way to respond. We’ve got quality throughout the group. We’ve got young boys who are learning their trade still, but ultimately we know that we need to perform better as a team. If we perform better, then we’ll start winning games. We have a group of staff and players who believe in what we’re trying to do. We just need to turn this corner and turn the frustration into enjoyment.
It is what it is. The Club have put measures in place here because safety is paramount. We’ll back whatever decision comes during this outbreak because people’s health is the most important factor. Football without fans is nothing though.