Chris Wade – @TufcChris
Chris discusses talking points ahead of the game against the Stones
WHERE TO START?
The questions from the midweek defeat to Solihull Moors are plentiful. How does the defence tighten up? How do we dominate the midfield? How can we provide better service into the front two? How can we score more goals? These are all questions that I have mulled over since Tuesday. What started so well descended into a desperate night full of angst and concern. Whilst we were up against one of the better teams in the league, the ease with which we were ultimately beaten was a concern. The general play was better than it has been of late, but the defensive issues remain and were punished. That simply has to improve, and if Dean Moxey is absent on Saturday, that will be harder to solve.
IMPROVEMENT IN GENERAL PLAY
In one of the odd quirks of football, the general play was probably as good as it has been all season on Tuesday. We moved the ball better and had better interplay in forward areas than on other days, where the play has lacked attacking intensity and quality. Will Goodwin scored in successive games, Corie Andrews worked hard and the wide areas were more effective than in some games. But when you are playing against quality opposition that move the ball with speed and incision, you have to be able to score more goals. One goal won’t win many games at this level. But there remains a conundrum in this team…
There is something structurally not right about our team at the moment. The full backs are not getting forward into dangerous areas enough, meaning the centre backs drop too often and invite pressure. But I believe the main issue is central midfield. Brett McGavin and Ryan Hanson look like good players to me that have quality on the ball. But they just not impacting games at the moment and whole games are going past without you noticing them. We have to find a way to get hold of the midfield and dominate the ball. Whether this be through a bit more force and determination, or through some guile. We have not been the better side in a game yet this season, saying something when we have won twice.
Having an additional option in forward areas in Aaron Jarvis has been useful in the last couple of games. Being able to freshen it up higher up the pitch can be crucial in the final third of games. Corie Andrews is working hard but desperately needs a goal. He is getting to the classic need one to go in off his backside stage. Goals breed confidence in forwards, it is that simple. This is certainly true in Will Goodwin, who has performed well in every game and has now added goals in the last couple of games. Goals is the currency of forward players and we do need more.
As with every National League game, Saturday will be another tough challenge. Wealdstone started really brightly but have tailed off in the last few matches. Expect a tight game as they don’t score loads and don’t concede loads (scored 9 and conceded 6 so far). The detail could be key, as taking the chances created gives you the small percentages. But to be honest, defend like we did on Tuesday and you win nothing. So improving that is vital to getting a result. At least Josh Umerah won’t score…..