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Mike Jackson Post Port Vale

15 February 2014

Jacko’ thoughts after the draw at home to Port Vale

Town went into the home game against Port Vale looking to bounce back from last week’s below par performance at Sheffield United.

Caretaker manager Mike Jackson made a number of changes to the team and was looking for a reaction from his side.  In the end it was a scrappy affair in high winds and rain but Town did their best to create a number of good goalscoring opportunities. 

In the end it was a point for each side and when Mike Jackson spoke to the press he was asked if he felt his side deserved more:”It was a point but with the chances and good opportunities that we had in their box we might have just edged it.

“I wouldn’t say we dominated it but it was a better performance that had a little bit of grit and spirit about it.

“That was the pleasing thing about, as was the clean sheet but we could have done better with some crosses and some of our set plays.”

Town started with three centre backs, four in midfield and three upfront for the first time this season.  It was a bold move from Jacko but one which looked like it might pay off:”I had watched them on Tuesday  and remember from when we played them before that they are a powerful team who like to turn you, get lots of throw ins, free kicks and get a lot of balls in the box.  This made me think about playing three centre-backs and I took a bit of a gamble with Jermaine but he was outstanding.

“I think it’s a decent formation and if you play it well it gives you something different.

“You have to be able to do stuff like that,  we’ve played 4-1-4-1, 4,2,3,1 and now three at the back and it suits us when we need to drop into games and it gives you that little bit of solidness when teams like to get the ball in the box.”

It’s another important point for Town but another game where they didn’t manage to find the back of the net.  Something that is becoming a concern for the Town caretaker manager:” I understand that but then again we haven’t lost the game today.

“Before I took over the seat Shrewsbury Town had lost six games at home on the bounce, since then we’ve drawn two which is an improvement.

“We’ve not score but we should have done and I know that we need to be scoring goals and we need to pick-up points.

“I’ve said to the lads after the game that could be the most important point by the end of the season.

“There are 15 games left, if we get a bit of luck today with other results today it could be an important points.

“Today again we didn’t pick the right pass in the final third and that is the hardest part of the pitch but we will keep working at it.”

There were first starts today for both Miles Storey and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Jacko thought they both did well and will continue to improve:”I thought in spells they looked good but again in the final third their selection of balls in the wasn’t as good as it could have been.

“They had a little bit of a spark and both have good pace so they will be all the better for having that game today.”

It was a bold team selection from Jacko with Joe Anyon, Mile Storey, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing, Jermaine Grandison and Asa Hall coming into the starting line-up.  It’s never nice to tell a player he’s dropped but Jacko is hoping for a reaction from all the players:”That’s the first time in my spell as a manager that I had to tell five players that they weren’t playing and I don’t like that.

“I’ve had it myself when I was playing and I remember it and know what it is like.

“What I expect is a reaction from them and if I don’t get that then that’s when there will be a problem.

“You look at the reaction Dave McAllister showed when he came on and that shows he is a top pro.”

The focus now switches to next weekend’s trip to Notts County and another important game in Town’s fight to pull away from the relegation slots of the Sky Bet League 1:”Hopefully we will take a bit of belief from this game and take it into next Saturday.

“They are all big games, we’ve got to be up to it, we were today,  some points were pleasing today but some need improving on.

“I can see improvement, we’ve got a clean sheet today, picked up another point at home and there have been encouraging signs.”


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