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Fitter and stronger

11 November 2012

Joe Skarz on the Portsmouth win and the season so far

“That was thoroughly deserved, but I think we’ve played better than that and drawn or lost.  The second half was good for us, the first half didn’t seem to get going, it was very stop start but we were 1-0 up, but sometimes that’s what you have do and win ugly.  The second half we were really good and I don’t think they got in our half.  We created a lot of chances and if we are being critical we could have score a few more.

It’s a 2-0 win against Portsmouth, five years ago they won the FA Cup final, so to win 2-0 at home against them is really good.  Our home form at the moment is picking up but that’s the way it’s got to be.

The gaffer was going through their team sheet on Friday and on their day they have really good individual players but we know that with the work we have been doing in training every week since the gaffer has come in has been good.  Its pressing off the ball, the work ethic of the team and the front two set us off with Troy (Hewitt) and Tom (Hopper).  They are both young lads and are full of legs, the rest of the team backs them up and it seems to be working.

The double training sessions have helped.  The morning sessions are really tough and then the afternoon sessions are more tactical work.  We go through things so that it’s all fresh in our minds.  We but we all know it but we do go through it again.  It’s working so I don’t think we should stop it.  It’s going really well, training is hard but enjoyable.  Now it’s Colchester away next week, which last year was probably our worst display of the season so we will be looking to correct that. 

We all feel fitter and stronger, but I’ve felt fit all season.  I wasn’t happy with some points from last season so this season I have been trying to be stronger and fitter.  Since the gaffer has come in we are sharper, even on Saturday in the 92nd minute Andy Bishop is closing the keeper down.  That’s the difference, in the 92nd minute – we are still doing it.

We found ourselves in a really bad situation after the first ten games and we gave all the other teams a ten game start.  Now we just have to keep the wins going and performing well, we look a lot more solid, mainly because we are winning the ball a lot higher up the pitch.  We don’t allow teams to come into our half.  The higher up the pitch you win the ball then the more clean sheets you are going to get.

Everything is going really well, the gaffer has come in with his plans and we are all sticking to it.  We are not conceding, we are not giving them chances.  On Tuesday at Oldham we were really disappointed with their goal at the end, more for Trevor Carson because he didn’t have a lot to do.  We want to win games, but we want clean sheets as well.  We want to play entertaining football but sometimes as a defender you have to be boring and clear it, head it and tackle.  If it’s a clean sheet like Saturday, then everyone is happy.

The gaffer gives us a lot of information on the opposition.  Before the game we run through the game plan, watch clips of the other team, everything they do, how they kick off etc.  We know all about them, Futch has all the information.  I have DVD’s from my last two games from the analyst’s and everyone can look at their own performance.  It can only be a good thing.

The league is getting a lot tighter; teams are starting to lose games.  We’ve had our bad run and hopefully it’s over now.  We’ve been through it before, last season we didn’t win in 13 games but finished mid table, so if we can keep our form going, keep picking up wins at home and picking up points away – we will just keep going game by game.

Our start was a stinker, but when you look at the first ten games on paper, you knew it was going to be a hard start.  We would have liked to have picked up more points, but we didn’t.  Nobodies heads dropped.  It was a hard time for the club and everyone was disappointed and we’ve worked really hard to change it around.”


Watch the full video interview with Joe Skarz on Shakers Player

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