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Spence: More Positives Than Negatives
Monday, 12th Nov 2018 06:00

Right-back Jordan Spence believes more positives than negatives could be taken from Town’s 2-2 draw at Reading, despite admitting that the Royals’ late equaliser was “a real sickener”. The Blues remain bottom of the Championship with only one win all season but are unbeaten in their two games under new manager Paul Lambert.

“It was a good performance but it was a real sickener to concede as late as we did,” Spence said.

“At the moment it is difficult to be really excited but when we pick the bones out of it – see what we did well and what we didn’t do so well – there are more positives than negatives.

“As a football club and as a football team I thought we put on a really good show and it’s a shame we couldn’t get all three points for the fantastic support [1,887] that travelled. But hopefully there is renewed optimism in relation to what we can achieve.

“It’s the same story as the Preston game [last week which ended 1-1], whether it’s luck or the ability to see out a game when you’re in the situation that we’re currently in, both things might have played a part, but the performance was another step forward.

“We just have to take the positives from [Saturday] and be ready to go again in two weeks’ time after the international break.

“We all know football well enough to know that it goes in waves and that they were going to throw caution to the wind in the second half.

“Could we have scored a third goal in the first half and not conceded their first? In the second half could we not have maybe done better with one of our counter-attacks? That’s all water under the bridge at this point, isn’t it?

“We showed we are a really good football team and the more we show that the more points we will get and the better things will become."
Regarding the improvement since Lambert took over as boss, Spence added: “I think it’s important that we draw a line under what previously happened and it’s important not to speak disparagingly about fellow professionals.

“The manager has come in laid out a clear blueprint, a clear plan, he has a great deal of experience and he has turned us into a team that looks like scoring more goals and conceding less.

“Players have taken responsibility for what took place before and we look forward. From the showing in the first half, and at times in the second with the resilience to hang in there, and the showing from the travelling support, we’re not a team who should be at the bottom of this division and we’re very, very determined to show that.”
The 28-year-old believes the Blues will stay up if the first two performances under Lambert are replicated in the months to come.

“We have 29 games left and if we play along similar lines to how we’ve played home and away in the past two weeks we’ll get more points than we’ll drop,” he insisted.

“We’ve had a poor start but I do believe that over the course of the season the better teams are nearer the top and the worse ones are near the bottom.”
Reflecting on his own role in the team, Spence says it has changed under Lambert: “It’s slightly different. I’m playing a little bit higher, overlapping and getting forward a bit more because of the shape and what I’m being asked to do.

“But it’s just a case of plugging in and following instructions, and that’s really exciting as well.

“We’ve been the same team two weeks in a row but we’ve travelled with 21 players today and we’ve got players that are really ready to go, know the system, know what the manager is asking and are keen to build on it. We’re going to need everyone.

“It’s a big squad and the competition for places should enhance performances. Our front three were phenomenal with the work they put in and it’s very difficult to do that for 90 minutes.

“With injuries and suspensions, we’re going to need everyone and I’m looking forward to clawing back some of these points in the next few weeks.”
Town now have a gap of almost two weeks to their next fixture, the live Sky game against West Brom a week on Friday.

The Blues have gone into the last two international breaks on the back of positive performances - the 1-1 draw with Norwich - and their first win - the 3-2 victory over Swansea - but then disappointed greatly on their return to action, losing 2-0 to both Hull City and QPR.

Asked how the squad will look to avoid a repeat of those post-break displays and results, Spence said: “We look at the work we have managed to put in over the last two weeks with the new manager.

“There has been a marked difference and if we can implement more of that, put in the work on the training field, get some people who are carrying knocks back to 100 per cent again, we’ll be ready to go and ready to fly out of the blocks.”
He added: “With the right application and that level of performance we should see better results. It’s not always going to be great but hopefully we can show the other side of the game to get results. The quicker that happens the happier we will be."
The West Brom match is followed by another game at Portman Road, the visit of Bristol City the following Wednesday, although Spence felt the travelling Blues support made Saturday’s game feel like a home fixture.

“That’s good but it felt like a home game [at Reading] with the support that we had. The fans were fantastic and certainly made a considerable difference and the fans really got behind us against Preston last week.

“They have been encouraged by what they have seen and if we can deliver what we’re supposed to deliver it will be a big advantage being at home.”

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Suffolkboy added 07:09 - Nov 12
Very well put together from Spence ; more than adequate summation of the circumstances and the game AND the right emphasis on looking forward positively !
Well done PL and the Team!

Dissboyitfc added 07:09 - Nov 12
yes plenty of positives, but the mistakes have to stop. There was another occasion when playing out of defence Bart nearly passed the ball to one of their strikers. We are making silly avoidable mistakes, once they stop i think we will climb the table for sure! Feeling a lot more positive though.

TheTrueBlue1878 added 07:11 - Nov 12
Speaks well, speaks the truth. Think Spence and Knudsen have had 2 very good performances generally under the new manager.

ArnieM added 09:03 - Nov 12
Knudsen was once again AWOL ( jogging back AGAIN towards our box having lost possession up field) for their second goal. He is utter pants and how he’s even considered an “ International” is truly laughable.

The first goal, well yet again Mr Invincible cocks up in goal. Arms down by his sides, beaten at his best post. Bart really isn’t all that! Get Gerkin bank in goal.

Cue the down arrows - couldn’t give a shyte .

martin587 added 09:05 - Nov 12
Spoken like a true pro.There is certainly a different mentality running through the camp now.The tide will turn I’m sure under the guidance of PL.👍

corfu72 added 09:08 - Nov 12
Your negative comments don’t help so you get a down mark from me.Get behind the team mate,don’t knock.

OwainG1992 added 09:10 - Nov 12
Can't disagree with what Spence is saying here.
I like the professionalism in terms of not being too negative towards Paul Hurst himself.
I do believe we can stay up.

cranky_old_tractor added 09:11 - Nov 12
Well put. Great performance (esp 1st half) and many positives. Got the break now so hopefully we can build on the great work PL has already achieved. However, when we return with WBA and following matches will be tougher. Come ITFC

herfie added 09:47 - Nov 12
Sensible and perceptive comments from JS. Genuine reasons to be positive, and hopeful that the massive progress made under PL, In a very short time, will continue. It’s self-evident that whilst time might just about be on our side, as each winless match goes past, the balance tips against us.

But JS also flags up the need to eliminate individual errors and lapses in concenreation. In games of fine margins they inevitably prove very costly, and potentially have a negative effect on the team’s confidence and belief. When reviewing Saturday’s overall performance in the cold light of day, PL and his team will balance the many positives with those negatives that saw 2 points slip from our grasp. Believe, though, that intensive work on the reaining ground will get them out of the system. COYB!


Daddio added 10:52 - Nov 12
A positive wave seems to be flowing through the squad, performances have improved massively, especially given that PL has only been here 2 weeks! In both matches we have taken the lead and failed to hold on, as opposed to having to chase games as has been the case over the last few years. If we can tighten up a bit at the back then the results will follow.

ArnieM - if you were in goal where would you have expected that shot to go on Saturday, high or low? The majority of shots go low, so why would you have your arms up?

ArnieM added 11:27 - Nov 12

It’s just my opinion. I follow Town home and away. I was at Reading on Saturday. My views on Knudsen have been consistent ( as has his failings) for several seasons. He constantly makes this mistake. If he is an International you’d have thought he’d have learned by now wouldn’t you! As for Bart. Well he’s viewed as the next Messiah by some on here , yet he has many weaknesses and he’s certainly no better than Gerkin. His form THIS season is very poor. So why is he in the team?

martin587 added 11:47 - Nov 12
I to was at the game on Saturday and yes there are weakness points within the team.We all know this and PL is doing his best to correct this with the squad he has inherited.
There have been vast improvements within the last two weeks which is very incourageing considering PL has only had a few weeks here.
I think just knocking the team at this crucial time does not help the situation.Yes,we all have our own opinions and yes we are free to voice them should things be going wrong.But at the present time I just feel they are best not to keep bringing them up.Leave the problems to PL.

ArnieM added 12:08 - Nov 12
Fair doos. I’ll try to curb my frustration with these two players. But it’s not easy when you see them mane silly mistakes week in week out. As the senior ( experienced) players in the side, the6 should be leading by example I feel.

As for Lambert, he is a fantastic manager. I’ve always rated him, and I feel he will get us out of the mess we are currently in and take us on to much better things next season.

oldelsworthyfan added 12:09 - Nov 12
Good positive summing-up Spence.
I'm sure the Manager will be working hard on those worrying errors in defence and, if necessary, strengthen the defence in January.
I was pleased to see a renewed urgency and energy from all our players since PL arrived,
Sears is suddenly twice the player he was! Confidence is a wonderful thing.

ArnieM added 12:26 - Nov 12
Daddio: I haven’t said he should have had his “arms up”, but he should have had them with elbows flexed to 90 degrees, ( level with his waist), This is a state of “ readiness” to react to a shot up or down. To have his arms down beside his body takes too long to adjust from that position. He wasn’t even anticipating a shot!

alfromcol added 12:40 - Nov 12
Spence at fault with the first goal, held back in the hope that it ran off for a goal kick and the Reading player got his boot to it. Should never allowed the cross to come in. We need 2 better full backs, neither are good enough. Takes nothing away from a superb first half.

JCTractorboy added 12:48 - Nov 12
Not sure why we bothered getting this new goalkeeper coach in, should have just hired you.
I agree that Bart has not been his best this season but I think it may have been the element of surprise on this occasion that caught him out, I think you're being harsh. He also made a top class save second half in his defense.

scants_itfc added 13:13 - Nov 12
It was a shot that we would have expected Bart to make in the past, but his form has been inconsistent this season. Gerken is the same though, and if we are being honest the GK position is not where we are lacking this season. The improvement over the last 2 games has been surprising, i didnt expect quite as big a gap from the Millwall game. However, and I will get behind the team and want us to survive, but I cant see it. We've managed draws against 2 of the worst teams in the division. There isn't enough games to overturn the gap because we will lose far more than we will win, it is just where the squad is at. However PL is the right man to instill confidence and rebuild int he right way next year to hopefully bring us straight back up!

BlueBlood90 added 13:16 - Nov 12
As positive as the performances were in our last two games, the reality is that we only took 2 points from two of our most winnable games we'll have all season. It's vital that we at least stay with the pack until January so Lambert can bring some players in that will give us a fighting chance. I genuinely can't see where a win is going to come in our next 8 games before that.

Surco72 added 13:19 - Nov 12
I am with ArnieM regarding Knudsen , think he is ok going forward but always out of position defensively and doesn't ever stop the cross coming in from his winger .
Also thought Bart was at fault for the first goal, but think this is a confidence thing that will return and we will see the best of him again , Spence shouldn't have let the winger get the ball in either .

In todays football with full backs getting loads of assists ours need improving

cat added 13:23 - Nov 12
I’m completely with ArnieM on the Bart and Knudsen debate. I am very confident that Lambert will lead us to safety but when your senior pros are making mistake after mistake this might ultimately cost us this season. Bart was what you call in the trade as flat footed for their first goal, no anticipation from him and as a keeper getting beaten at the near post is never a good look. He has cost us very dear so far this season, add to that his awful distribution and our 3x player of the year is looking like becoming our achilles heal. Knudsens lack of tracking back is becoming a reoccurring theme and this also needs addressing. We are up against it that’s for sure, time for the experience pros to step up or ship out.

Bert added 13:47 - Nov 12
On his day Spence is a decent player and if he is played further up that will suit his type of play and the balance of the team that Lambert appears to favour. Spence is an articulate guy, balanced and fair but like others his confidence can be knocked. As for Bart, yes we would normally expect him to create a sound wall ( Preston ) and get down earlier to his near post ( Reading ) so let's hope this is a temporary blip. Knudsen needs coaching but again on his day he can be a decent player. We just need a lot more good days from all the players to eliminate the mistakes. Hope and faith is what we must show as the 12th man really does make a difference.

IpswichT62OldBoy added 13:53 - Nov 12
We are heading in the right direction, PL seems to be getting more out of the players and time will tell who he thinks can cut the mustard.
Come January I think we will look very different with returned loanees and recovered injured, we will have alternatives available and he can have his pick.
I still think we will avoid relegation even if we make no signings, the players on our books are OK and some will shine under his management.
I don't think we will see much of Ward again

Northstandveteran added 14:42 - Nov 12

Well done for being right instead of choosing to be popular.

ArnieM added 14:53 - Nov 12
Thank you ! I don’t want to criticise our players , but as professionals in their sport they shouldn’t keep making the same mistakes- if they do they can’t really complain if they are dropped.

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