Head coach Gary Owers has had just short of a week with his players without a Saturday game to focus on this weekend. United are building up to a home match against Maidstone on November 11th, after missing out on a 1st round tie in the Emirates FA Cup.
Before our last match against Hartlepool United, the Gaffer made it very clear that getting a positive result would earn the players more time off with two clear weeks in view. After the final whistle blew on our 2-0 defeat, the players knew that there would be a lot of work ahead.
“If we had won against Hartlepool we would have been the top team for October for the form league. People won’t have realised that, I don’t think. We were one result off from it being a really, really good month,” said Owers at a press call today.
The Gaffer has shown a strong desire to see his players get match time. This means loan moves for players that haven’t been getting time in the 1st team as of late. Midfielder Sam Chaney has been training with some London-based clubs in order for a loan move to materialize. Chaney requires match time in order to complete his return from a groin injury that has halted his season, after racking up appearances early on.
“I am saying to the lads: it is for your benefit. I want to see who wants to play. I don’t want any footballers that are quite happy to sit around here and not play. It is easy not to play – no pressure, no responsibility.”
The Gaffer is adamant that a place in the team has to earned. Match time will only help players to get into his team.
“I don’t want lads to be waiting their turn to get in the team by default. I want them to play themselves into the team. To play yourself into the team you have to be fitter than the person you are going in to replace. It is only beneficial if you have a few minutes under your belt.
“I need really tough characters. And that’s what we’re trying to find out who the really tough characters are, or have we got enough tough characters – it’s not all about ability.”
“We’ve got to work harder, we’ve got to do better. It’s not about doing enough.”