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Ward: We're Playing Better Football With More Confidence
Tuesday, 14th Feb 2017 06:00

Grant Ward believes Town head for Brighton this evening in much better shape than if the game had been a couple of weeks ago.

A home draw against high-flying Reading was followed up at the weekend with the win that ended Aston Villa’s unbeaten home record, so Mick McCarthy’s men are looking to make it back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

Ward, 22, said: “It was very important to build on the draw against Reading with a win at Villa.

“I thought that even before Reading we had a few good games but didn’t get the results we deserved – like at Preston when they got a very late goal to deny us victory. It’s good that we have started to build a bit of momentum.

“We’ve been playing better football and had more confidence in ourselves. We’ve been passing it around a bit more and creating chances.

“Confidence is massive in any sport, or even life itself, because if you’re feeling good you’ll do a lot better.”

But it is a tall order to bring back three points from the south coast, since the Seagulls have only been beaten once at home in the current campaign, when they lost 2-0 to Brentford in September, and that is actually their only home defeat in the last 13 months.

However, like many supporters whose mood is more upbeat as a result of the team’s last two displays, Ward and his team-mates have also grown in confidence and an influx of players in the January transfer window has lifted dressing room morale.

Ward, signed from Tottenham last summer, has played alongside two of them – Toumani Diagouraga and Emyr Huws, on loan from Leeds and Cardiff respectively – and added: “I’ve been impressed since they joined us, not just in matches but before that in training.

“They’ve both looked top-notch and it’s good to have brought people in who can add something to the team. They have fitted in well here.

“Every day we’re working on things in training and getting to know each other’s games. The more you play alongside someone the more you get to learn about their game and the way they do things.

“I like it in the centre but I also like it when I play out wide. I just like it anywhere I can get the ball. Before I came here I played as a central midfielder so I’m used to it there. I can play in the middle as one of two or three; the main thing is that I see plenty of the ball.

“I do the defensive side as well. The way I’ve been brought up to play is to do a lot of running. When we get the statistics after every game we can see who has covered the most ground and my stats are usually the highest.

“I’m fit enough to do it so I don’t see why I wouldn’t. I’m always going to work hard for the team, first and foremost.”

Finally, Ward struggled to keep a straight face as he was asked how new boys Huws and Steven Taylor performed at the traditional initiation ceremony held in the team’s Midlands hotel on Friday, when both were required to sing to an audience comprising their team-mates, management and backroom staff.

He laughed: “Emyr isn’t the best singer, to be fair, and he found it pretty tough. Tayls came after him and he was really good. He really went for it and admitted he’d been practicing beforehand.”

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KiwiBlue2 added 06:33 - Feb 14
Says it all really. The addition of Toumani and Emyr has made a world of difference and also resulted in something I really like, i.e. Tom playing up front. Having some fellow midfielders who are experienced, combative and forward looking seems to have cheered Grant up and hopefully inspired him to try even harder. We really do pose some threat with those 3 in the centre of midfield and Emmanuel and Kenlock overlapping. I just hope like hell MM keeps Scuse on the bench and Douglas out of sight.....

hoppy added 07:30 - Feb 14
"But it is a tall order to bring back three points from the south coast, since the Seagulls have only been beaten once at home in the current campaign"

When we played them down there last season on 29th December, they'd only lost once in the league before that too, and we came away with a 1-0 win... I'd take that again, happily.

spanishblue added 07:30 - Feb 14
Yes kiwi i don,t get to games nowadays,the last time i went i was disgusted,but the last 2 games its become obvious to me,that the mobility in the team is completely rejuvanated,with 2 goals scored with even the full back bombing on,wonder if he,s been fined for crossing the halfway line,how refreshing what fun

KiwiBlue2 added 07:37 - Feb 14
Fingers crossed for at least a point tonight......

Garv added 08:10 - Feb 14
Much much better in the centre.

carlo88 added 09:11 - Feb 14
Lucky we didn't sell Chambers in the window was it not.

cornishblu added 09:45 - Feb 14
Haha ...headline needs to take our "better" to be more accurate .
It's all been said but it's as simple as that ...right players in right positions .....more football on the ground "complimented " by hoofball when required but not as the only Plan A .....passing forward instead of sideways or backwards .....I went to villa on Saturday and whilst I would have been devastated at the end had they equalised it was the first game in ages that I actually enjoyed and therefore the result while important didn't matter for that game ....
Of course results matter but as has already been shown make it more entertaining and the fans will be there
.....of real interest was chambo,s fist pump...was at Wigan when he looked angry, fed up and disillusioned ....back playing at CB and having a good game the smile came back ...perhaps as part of the relief of not having to truck out the "I,lol play anywhere for the boss" whilst hating being at RB

For Saturday pleased with performance and result ....
....for tonight .. safe journeys for the travelling fans ,,,sing your hearts out and enjoy

muccletonjoe added 10:15 - Feb 14
Lets be honest , up untill end of january - we didnt really have a midfield. To win games regularly you need a midfield capable of competing. How good these 3 are remains to be seen , they will be severely tested tonight . At least things are much more positive.

Lightningboy added 11:01 - Feb 14
See what can happen when you put in positive midfielders and Chambers in his correct position...

Yet again though these decisions have only really come about because of injuries.

Nothing will change my mind about McCarthy - We still need a more positive new manager this summer who'll get us playing good football again.

ClausThomsen added 13:34 - Feb 14
They kept it quiet that he was a central midfielder!

If only he was fit when Douglas was playing...

cat added 16:57 - Feb 14
Anyone who can bang in a hat trick at any level clearly has an eye for goal, let's hope with the new look positive midfield that he can get amongst the goals again.

Sam added 18:58 - Feb 14
Absolutely spot on Wardy. That's the fine spirit we need ahead of a tough, tough game tonight. Hoppy brought up a fantastic stat and a point this evening would be great. UP THE TOWN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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