The Dugout: First Team #20Date: 15 February 2018 at 19:29 by Liam Cook
Postponements, postponements, and more postponements. It's been a tough winter for MFL clubs. This week in The Dugout, Coventry United Assistant Manager Luke Morton discusses the effects of the winter weather on team morale, momentum and the 'scheduled' trip to Worcester with CUTV's Liam Cook
Liam - Weather permitting, Coventry United travel to high flying Worcester City on Saturday. They have the joint best goal difference in the league and are also joint top scorers. A stern test for any team. Are you confident of getting the right result?
Luke - Worcester are a massive club and are in good form. They are really in there with a shout of winning the league so they will be full of confidence. I am not going to hide away from the fact that this is going to be a very tough match indeed, but as previously mentioned in other interviews, if we play to our full capability then we can beat anyone at any given time. We certainly won't be going there frightened, we will be relishing the prospect of beating a top, top side.
Liam - Saturday’s hosts now play at Bromsgrove’s Victoria Ground. With the experience of an FA Vase match at the venue earlier this season, is the test of the sizeable pitch gradient lessened?
Luke - The pitch is what it is. Yes, it has a bit of a slope, but that won't affect the way we go about our task. The task ahead of us is tough, so the pitch is the least of our problems and anyway, it is normally a decent surface to play on so that will suit us.
Liam - The previous match at Shepshed saw Jamal Clarke make an immediate impression on his competitive debut. How has he settled in and what impact can he have in the backline?
Luke - Jamal has been excellent since he joined us. He has trained every week and he trains hard. He has been itching to play for a while, so to finally get the game under his belt was a welcome boost for us and for him. Jamal will give us strength and power, but more importantly he will give us that experience and leadership at the back which we have needed.
Liam - The Shepshed win was a big moment after an extended winless run. But with the last 2 matches being called off, will you be able to capitalise on the momentum from that game?
Luke - Having the last 2 games called off has been very frustrating, as we were hoping to build on the Shepshed result. Now it feels we have to start over again and that momentum gained from the Shepshed game has now gone.
Liam - The harsh winter conditions have provided the possibility of playing 3 times in a week towards the season’s end, if further games are postponed. It’s been done before, but does this prospect concern the club?
Luke - Of course this concerns us. To ask the players to play that amount of games in a week is ridiculous, and with us cutting the squad to keep costs down it will certainly push the squad to it's limits, so let's hope we have seen the last of the postponements.
Liam - Some players have stated their frustration at the frequent postponements. Has this had an effect on squad morale?
Luke - It's not just the players that have been frustrated. The management, the coaches and the fans have been frustrated, but there is not much we can do about the weather. The pitches are not up to the standard of league clubs, so if we get a spell of bad weather then games will be called off. It's actually annoying that the amount of money in the top end of the game doesn't filter down enough to help grassroots football. There is a petition on twitter at the minute about helping to save grassroots football so I urge as many people as possible to sign the petition.