The Dugout #7
Date: 20 October 2017 at 08:41 by Liam Cook
This week in our weekly interview series, The Dugout, CUTV's Liam Cook and Coventry United Assistant Manager Luke Morton give you the answers to the big questions this week. Team selection, defensive issues, mentality, there's so much to be discussed.
Liam - It's been a bitterly disappointing week for Coventry United. Let's start with the 3-3 draw at home to Shawbury. A game Coventry United could, and should, have won. What went wrong?
Luke - Disappointing is an understatement! The game against Shawbury should of been over as a contest at half time, but missed chances saw us only go in at 2-0. The 2nd half was really a pathetic showing from our point, too many errors by too many players, gifting chances to Shawbury. Credit must go to Shawbury however, as they took their chances and kept going right to the death. Our decision making all over the pitch was just not good enough, and we as management need to take responsibility for that because obviously we are not getting our messages across to the players.
Liam - Dave Moli was the stand out player at the weekend, scoring one goal and and setting up the 2nd with a brilliant run. He seems to be making the striking position his own since his arrival.
Luke - Dave is class act and on his day he will give every defence nightmares. He took a while to get his fitness levels up, but as you could see he was certainly getting near to his top form. It was just a shame he felt a hamstring strain and couldn't carry on much after half time.
Liam - An underlying problem for United seems to be holding onto a lead into the closing stages. Is this a mentality problem or just bad luck?
Luke - I certainly don't think it's down to bad luck. It's more down to the players not making the right decisions at the right time, and if you make mistakes at this level you will get punished. We need to cut out these mistakes because they're happening far too regularly at the minute!
Liam - And of course, there was a rather embarrassing night against Highgate in the Birmingham Senior Cup. And a number of changes to the team, which seemed to rub a few fans up the wrong way. Are these changes stopping team chemistry from forming?
Luke - You have summed it up dead right there, embarrassing is certainly right. Obviously making a lot of changes is going to effect the chemistry a little, but these lads all know each other. They train together often enough, so we're not going to use that as an excuse. It's just the players that came in were not up to the job, and as a management team we will hold our hands up and admit we got it completely wrong. I totally understand the fans frustrations and can only apologise to them, as the performance was just not good enough. But i can promise the fans we don't just make changes for the sake of it. There were a few injured players we couldn't risk and a couple of players had work related issues, but as i said, we won't use that as an excuse for a embarrassing display.
Liam - In both games this week, United scored 3 times at home and failed to win. And despite a quality defence and top goalkeepers, 8 goals were conceded in 2 matches. How can this be explained? Was this down to individual errors or is there a larger issue to be addressed?
Luke - When you score 3 goals at home you should win, but we didn't, and that is unacceptable from not just a team point a view, but from a whole club point of view. The conceding of goals is a major concern for us and we will be making every effort to put that right.
Liam - One route to silverware is now gone. Will this motivate the players to get things right in the FA Vase against Lutterworth this weekend?
Luke - The players shouldn't need any extra motivation going into the Lutterworth game, but being dumped out of one competition has certainly made us even more determined to progress in the FA vase. The lads have had a chat amongst themselves and they are 100% determined to put things right, and that starts this Saturday.
Liam - Craig Reid finally found the back of the net on Tuesday after a tricky few weeks. Could this strike be the kick start he needs to return to his previous form?
Luke - Craig is an excellent player and although he hasn't got the goals of late, his performances when coming off the bench have been excellent. The effort he puts in during training proves he is determined to get back on the goal run. Craig is a true professional, he is first to training, he stays behind afterwards to do extra training and although he not been in the team as of late, his attitude has been top class. It was good for him to get his goal and hopefully now he will get on another good scoring run. As they say "form is temporary but class is permanent"
Liam - Everyone knows how hard the players and the management are working at this time. But are yourselves and the squad feeling any pressure to perform or will the results simply come in time?
Luke - As a squad we are working extremely hard to put things right. We are confident that we will get it right and results will come our way. Obviously there is pressure to get more positive results, but we wouldn't want it any other way. I would much rather have the pressure to win from a club rather than be at a club that has no ambition to succeed.
Finally....we as a club know things are not great on the pitch at the minute, but we truly appreciate the support of all the fans and it doesn't go unnoticed. There are a lot of positive things going on at the club at the minute so i urge the fans to stick with us. Also a big thank you to all the volunteers that help us, because without them the club just wouldn't function