Jacko's thoughts after the draw away to Wolves
Mike Jackson was delighted with the point his team worked so hard for in the 0-0 draw at league leaders Wolves this afternoon. Town expended boundless energies in a display that shocked the bulk of the 24,000 crowd who had come to see another win. But he said that his side could have snatched the latest of winners when Tom Eaves chose to go it alone, and that he had left his dressing room still arguing amongst each other such was their passion to secure the ultimate smash and grab.
“I think we had some good spells with the ball and some good counter attacks in the first half,” said the Town gaffer. “Second half we started to run out of puff particularly lads like Jermaine who’s only just come back, but we’ve worked so hard. We rode our luck a little bit and Joe (Anyon) has made a great save but you’re going to have to do that when you come here. But then we go away at the end and we should score. We’ve just had a massive row in there amongst us all and it shows how much passion there is when you’re disappointed at drawing 0-0 at Wolves!”
Jacko spoke in length about the game plan and how he’d had Wanderers watched 4 or 5 times before the game. “They were destroying teams setting up 4-4-2,” he said. “I decided to go with a three with two overlapping wing-backs to counter their strength and power. I didn’t think we’d be able to handle it with a four and with some of the players coming back from injury. We tried to match their three in the middle and play with split strikers so we had a target to play out and I hope people could see that we were trying to press and get round them. On the whole it’s a really good point ‘cos no-one would have given us a chance of getting it.”
Jackson paid tribute to his back four and felt that had his side defended like that seven days ago against Bristol City, then it might have made for a different outcome. “We have to get that standard right up. We’ve got a massive game again now on Tuesday and the biggest problem might be recovery. We’re going to need fresh legs as we’ve had to work so hard today. We have to re-group and get everyone together.”
The manager explained his decision to start with Miles Storey with Swindon Town recalling their player which means we’ve seen the last of him in a Town shirt: “It’s a blow and that leaves us a bit light up front. We might have to move quickly to bring anyone in in time for Tuesday but I decided to play Miles ahead of Mendez-Laing who’s still only 80-90% recovered from his hammy. I could have put him on the bench today but if he comes on and it goes again we’re in trouble with another striker down.”
Jackson wants his men to build on this point and knows they are capable of getting three points against the stuttering U’s: “We have to have belief. I said to the lads before the game what a win might do for us here and we almost nicked it. If we win on Tuesday, four points from two aways would be a great return.”
He also praised the 2,000 fans for their backing: “They were brilliant today. But even the other night after the match they stayed behind a few of them to offer encouragement, just telling us to keep going. That meant a lot and I like that. They were in early today and were right behind the lads even when they went out to warm up.”