Manager Keith Hill admits he’s searching for consistency, as his side get set to face Luton Town at the Crown Oil Arena on Saturday.
“It was a good win last weekend against Charlton. It leaves me quite confused, to be honest” said Hill in his pre-match interview.
“It took me the best part of a full week and a few hours to select that side - Tony had already done the team sheet when I came in [on the morning of the game] and he had to fill a new one in, so as much as we did really well against Charlton and showed our working qualities, I think I’ve got to rip the plan up and start again because we don’t seem to be getting any consistency.
“When we win we games, I think I’ve got to change at least six players to get another winning formula for the next game.
“I feel as though it’s not just a question of our plans, it’s also a feeling as well [which is why I made the decision on the day of the game]. We got it right against Charlton, but we got it so wrong – the players and myself against Wycombe – but we got it so right against Bradford. If I go on training, I think probably a third of the team that started on Saturday don’t play.”
He continued: “There’s a responsibility for the players to train to a certain standard every day, whether it’s with your ability or it’s with the high intensity, sprint distance, total distance, team units or partnerships on the pitch - full-back/ wide player, central midfield player/ number 10, and two central defenders and the way they respond to and link up with the number four and goalkeeper. I’m looking for that to improve on the training pitch.
“There’s a good squad of players there and I’m optimistic, but I don’t like inconsistencies. I’m searching for a better consistency level from day to day from certain players. To a certain degree, if you’re getting consistent results, you can go from match to match to match tweaking different personnel and players playing in different positions just slightly so that the opposition can’t read you too much. We might also feel that a certain player is best deployed in a position, so we’ll use different tactics but a similar sort of group. When we’ve gone on great runs before, you try to keep that continuity, especially your back four, your goalkeeper and probably your number four, and you can change one or two from everything else in front of it.
“But at this minute, I feel as though I could change three of four on a gamely basis and maybe get the stimulus that I want from that from those players for that one game, instead of those players saying ‘right, I’m in the team now and this my shirt. Nobody is going to take it off me – I’m going to perform in training and I’m going to perform the next time we play’, which is this weekend against Luton, but I don’t seem to be getting that.”
Newly promoted Luton Town currently sit fifth in League One and Hill knows his side will have deploy the same hard-work, hunger, passion and energy that he saw last week against Charlton Athletic.
“If we do that, then we’ll take any team to the wire. We’ll still make mistakes like we did on Saturday, but for me, the more honest you are, the better chance you’ve got of winning in League One.”
Watch the full interview in iFollow.