Klug Hopeful Squad Strong Enough to Stay Up But Admits Current Position Frightens Him
Friday, 26th Oct 2018 11:58
Caretaker-boss Bryan Klug is hopeful the Blues squad is strong enough to avoid relegation to the third tier of English football for the first time in 62 years but admits the prospect of dropping into League One frightens him.
Quizzed on whether he believes the squad is strong enough to stay up with Town currently bottom of the Championship, he said: “I hope so. Whoever does come in has got to work with these players until there is an opportunity to maybe add one or two, but I think we've got some good players.
“I'm obviously biased, but I think we've got some good young players who will do well for this club eventually. But I think a mixture of the young and the old will hopefully be good enough to get us up the league."
One of the criticisms levelled at former boss Paul Hurst was that youngsters weren’t given a chance with a number of them sent out on loan, however, Klug believes the pathway for academy players remains in place.
“I think I can still look people in the eye and say, 'If you stay here and you're good enough, you'll get a game'," he said. "When I can't do that, it'll be time to go."
He says owner Evans hasn’t consulted him about the next manager with Paul Lambert expected to be confirmed as Hurst’s successor tomorrow.
“No, he hasn’t,” Klug said. “I've not been involved in that at all. I know nothing apart from the fact that Marcus has just asked me to do this game.”
What sort of manager is required? “A good one! Somebody who has got experience of the league, I would think that's what we'd be looking at.
“Someone who can work with players and improve players, and play whatever 'winning football' is.”
What does he believe will dig Town out of the hole they’re currently in? “We know the outcome we want is to win games but performances always lead to that - the way you play, how you handle the ball and create chances.
“I think performances need to improve and that will give us the desired outcome. There are a lot of ingredients needed for that.
“When you're bottom of the league, the ball is like a hot potato. When I watched the game at Leeds, that's what I saw and I think those things have got to be put right.
“You've got to believe that if you're doing the right things and playing the right way, passing the ball, the performances will lead to [success]. That's what we've got to believe, really.”
Will confidence and bravery on the ball be key? “That is a very difficult thing to analyse. It's easy for us to sit in the stand and in the dugout and say, 'Be brave, get on the ball’.
“The Championship is a tough place to do that, but I think we've got players who are pretty adept at that and will be good enough to win enough games, I hope.”
He added: “Obviously I’ve worked with a lot of the younger players and some of the older players. The new players coming in, I don’t think that’s been very easy for them.
“As I say, if one or two little things had gone their way then [things would have been different], so I think confidence is low.
“But they’ve got to be brave. That’s easy to say but that’s the reality, that’s the truth.
"They’ve got to go and play at Millwall, it’s not an easy place to play but you’ve got to go out and really want the ball, really want to handle the ball, really want to play football and compete.
“You do lose confidence quite quickly but it can come back quickly as well. One or two good results and I’m sure that confidence won’t be an issue.”
Having been at the club since joining as a youth player in 1977 Klug is not just an employee but a fan. From that angle, how concerning is the current position? “I try not to put that hat on because it frightens me, to be honest.
“Since I came in, we've never been lower than where we are now. It's something that I never really want to think about, but performances and getting out on the pitch and winning games is what we've got to do."
Town skipper Luke Chambers called the squad, who had been given the day off, to Playford Road yesterday afternoon as news of Hurst’s departure was breaking.
Questioned on what was behind that meeting, Klug said: “You’d have to ask him that. I’m guessing that’s showing that the players are caring, I don’t know what the meeting was about. I did see them in, I wasn’t expecting them in.
“In other sports they will have a lot more say than in football, it’s not generally acknowledged that players will have a big say but if they feel they need to get a few things out in the open that’s fine by me. I’m guessing that might have been what happened, I don’t know.”
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