Speaking Some Truth
After a strong finish to August, myself and the team were quite happy with the way we'd started. Once we finished training I thought it was a perfect time to talk to the defence and the strike force of Knowles, Speight and Beesley. I announced it to the players and once everyone left I said, "I have gathered you here for a reason," everyone looked at each other a bit worried about what I was going to say, the look you may give to your friend at school when a teacher is about to shout at you, "Don't worry, there's no need to be worried it's just a little talk about performances." Some of the players still looked rather worried, but so some of them should be..
I explained to them that the strike force had been brilliant, the amount of goals we had scored in the five games we had played was very impressive and we had scored the most goals, 14. However what had really let us down was the defence. We were extremely leaky and had yet to record a clean sheet, conceding 8 and one of the largest amounts of goals conceded at that. I then explained how poor the defence had been, I couldn't hold back, "The defence has been poor, very poor and you may know that we have one of the largest goals against goal difference and we cannot allow this, although mostly the strikers had combated this by scoring the goals, they may not be able to keep it up, it's impossible to be able to score 2 or 3 goals every game, I would love that, but realistically that won't happen, so I want you to tighten up otherwise I will have to look for replacement, understand?" The whole usual back-line who were kept behind nodded and agreed that their performances hadn't been upto standard.
This chat had been very usual for several reasons, it gave me a chance to talk to the players to help them improve, but it gave them a chance to speak to me about matters that could help them during games. "I know my decisions have been poor," said club captain Dave McGurk "and I really need to improve in that area. I think with some extra training with Jake, I could improve my decision making, if you wouldn't mind me staying after training a little bit and trying to improve? I smiled at him, he was a great lad, always getting behind everyone but it was a shame he hadn't had a great start. "Of course, why wouldn't I? If it helps you become a better player that's fantastic because better players mean better performances!" The others followed suit and that's why speaking the truth helps, it really does. I never knew football could teach you life decisions...