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Sam Ricketts post Rochdale

17 August 2019

Sam Ricketts takes time to reflect on today's goalless draw against Rochdale. With two new signings on the team sheet, Sam gave new midfielder, Sean Goss, a full 90 minutes. Louis Thompson came on late on and made an impact in the middle of the field.

"A point is a good point in the right direction. It took 25-30 minutes to actually see what we want to see. We ended the first half how we want to play, but with so many new players in it's really hard. We've got players coming in today and more or less playing on their first day, so to get that integration and understanding it's going to take some time." Sam said.

Town looked solid and strong today, "I think you saw for a brief little spell, everything that we're trying to do, and we look very good when we do that. The character during that time, we make sure we work hard, defend and keep a clean sheet."

Town had many chances throughout the game and were unlucky not to find the goal. Sam reflects on Town's best chance during the game; "Steve Morison's header off Goss' wide free-kick, I thought it was in as soon as Steve went to head the ball, I thought if you get enough on that it will go in at the back post. I don't really know how much it missed the back post by, but I was half celebrating already."

Sam looks forward and positive about the chances Town created today; "That's where we're at, doing what we want to do and looking very good at times we look like a front foot progressive team and at times we look like we're learning and understanding each other. I'm not really surprised because we went through the team and we're a completely new side trying to get a slightly different way of playing."

Rochdale thought they scraped all three points as they looked to have scored in the dying minutes of play, however, the referee and linesman called offside. "To be fair I saw the guy instantly try and play the ball on the goal line. I've not seen it back, but you can't play the ball and obviously not be offside."

With signing two new players yesterday, they were both involved in today's game. "Goss did very well, he's had a pre-season. I thought he did well, and you saw glimpses of what we can do. Once the team and the players get to know each other, there's so much more to come from everyone. Louis Thompson, that's his first game as he hasn't had a minute of pre-season and to come on in a game with a tempo like that. You saw glimpses of what he's about. I'm pleased with him as well, there so much more to come from this team so it's more encouraging."

No signs of Romain Vincelot on the team sheet today; "Romain picked up an injury against MK Dons which ruled him out from the start of mid-week and hasn't recovered enough to be involved today. Unfortunately, he was out, and therefore every fit player we had, was either starting or on the bench."

"The basis you have to be hard to beat and hard to score against. The main focus was to secure the defence. In the last couple of days, you can see we've been hit with injuries in midfield and we've strengthened that area, so gradually, we're going through and getting where we want to be. But it will take time and integration to get everyone up to speed, physically and the understanding in the team. I can see when we move the ball well, we end up opening the opposition well with crosses in the box. We need to be better at that final bit whether it's the final ball or final movement. We've got new players throughout the team who are only going to get better and we've got two new players coming in at midfield."

Sam and his team look to Tuesday evening's game away at Accrington Stanley. "I'll start my research tonight because Accrington is an interesting one. This time of the year the pitch is good, and they play decent football. If we go there like we did last year on Boxing Day and if the pitch isn't great, you can't really play football."

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