Nolan: Gap to Safety is Bridgeable
Thursday, 13th Dec 2018 17:49
Town’s league position is currently anything but healthy but midfielder Jon Nolan believes there is enough time left to bridge the daunting eight-point gap between themselves and Championship survival.
Nolan has forced his way into new boss Paul Lambert’s starting line-up and is likely to continue in his central role when newly-promoted Wigan, where ex-manager Joe Royle is a director and his son Darren chairman, come to Portman Road on Saturday.
“The attitude here is still positive,” said Nolan. “It’s down to the new management team because since they came in it’s been positive all around the place and it’s spot-on.
“We’re bottom of the league but you’d never think it. Everyone’s attitude has been amazing really and we have a good bunch of lads here. I just hope we can soon start to pick up points.
“I’d say there is quite a gap between League One and the Championship. But Wigan started the season well and obviously I know all about them because I played against them last year.
“They are a good team and in Paul Cook they have a good manager. I know what they will bring but we just need to concentrate on our own game.
“We’re just looking at each game as it comes along and in the position we’re in they are all must-win to be honest. We’ve got to start picking up points.”
Nolan has been impressed by the impact made by Lambert, even if the ex-Norwich boss has accumulated just two points from his six games in charge so far.
“The training is good and he’s got a clear, clear way of how he wants us to play,” he said. “We watch the analysis after games and he’s shown us how well we are doing in games compared to the opposition. All the lads are buying into it. We just need a bit of luck and to cut out the mistakes.
What’s it going to take to turn the draws and defeats under Lambert into wins? Nolan added: “It’s all about putting the ball in the back of the net. We’re creating chances but maybe when the games are tight we’ve been conceding sloppy goals from mistakes.
“We just need to cut that out and stay in the game for as long as possible, and then I think the wins will come.
“Nobody is panicking. Chambo said something the other day that I picked up on. He said ‘If you were eight points off the play-offs at Christmas you’d be thinking you could get in there’. It’s not over. We’ve got loads of games left.
“The gaffer has said he will be bringing a few players in during January and I think we’ll need that. But I’m hoping things start to turn on Saturday.”
Nolan explained why he had not featured under Lambert until coming off the bench in the 2-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest and then starting against Stoke when Town went down by the same scoreline last weekend.
He said: “After the gaffer came in I picked up a dead leg, which I think was only in our third training session under him. It was a phantom dead leg – I’ve no idea who did it to me – but when I went home that day it just ballooned up.
“I was out for two and a half to three weeks, which killed me, because you are obviously looking to impress the new manager straight away.
“When I got fit again the other players were far more accustomed to his ideas, what he was putting across and how he wanted us to play.
“It was a bit of a nightmare, but lately I’ve been doing well in training and when I played against Stoke last week I felt I’d done alright. Now that I’m fit I’m looking to get more game time.
Has it been tough making the transition from Shrewsbury? “I suppose the proof is in the pudding – we’re bottom of the league,” he continued.
“But I think it’s been tough for all of us. As a team, a lot of us have come from the league below or an even lower division.
“But we’re all good players and the new gaffer has a clear way of playing, and I think the lads are doing well with it. If we can get a win on Saturday will give us all a huge lift.”
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