Dozzell: It Wasn't Good Enough, But If Stay Positive We Can Turn It Around
Sunday, 29th Nov 2020 19:00
Midfielder Andre Dozzell admitted that Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at home to Charlton wasn’t good enough but believes he and his team-mates will be able to turn Town’s fortunes around.
The Blues have now lost seven of their last 10 matches in all competitions and following back-to-back losses to Hull City and the Addicks are down to sixth in League One.
“It wasn’t good enough, we all know that,” Dozzell said. “We kept going, we worked hard but nothing was really falling for us.
“But luckily enough we’ve got another game on Tuesday and we’ll try and put it right then.”
The Blues visit Oxford, who are 19th but who reached the play-offs last season, on Tuesday which Dozzell knows is a big game for Town off the back of the two defeats.
“Definitely, we’ve got to stay positive, we’re still in and around there,” he said. “You know what this league is like, you can go up and down very quickly so we’ll just focus on the next game now.
“It’s not easy, losing two on the bounce, but we’ve got to stick together, stay positive and things will turn around for us.”
Dozzell knows fans will have been less than impressed with the loss to the Addicks: “They’re probably not happy, as they’re entitled to be, and it’s up to us to turn it around and we will do that.”
At 21 the Ipswich-born youngster was the youngest member of an all-Suffolk born midfield alongside Brett McGavin, 20, and Liam Gibbs, 17, who are both from Bury.
“Feels a bit weird saying I was the senior player, but it was good to play alongside two academy boys,” he reflected. “They’re good players, it was good.”
McGavin had taken Dozzell’s place while he was suspended following his red card at Sunderland and the former England U20 international felt he impressed in his absence.
“We see him in training, Brett’s really good on the ball, we had no doubt that he’d fill in very well,” he said.
Regarding Gibbs, who was making his league debut on Saturday, he said: “I think he’s a quality player. If he keeps head straight [he has great potential], he’s got great technical ability and he’s a good lad as well.”
Looking back on his red card ban, Dozzell says it seemed to take its time: “It was a long couple of weeks because we didn’t have the game on Saturday and we didn’t have any Tuesday games, so it dragged on a bit, it’s good to be back out there.”
Turning to the tackle on ex-Town captain Grant Leadbitter which led to the dismissal which was widely viewed as very harsh, he added: “It was obviously a frustrating time, wasn’t it? I was hoping ‘Please don’t be a yellow’ and it turned out to be a red. It wasn’t the best of times but you move on.”
Dozzell says the squad all believe in manager Paul Lambert despite increasing calls for a change of boss from fans.
“Definitely,” he insisted. “It’s up to us on the field. Things aren’t falling for us. It’s only us on the field who can turn it around.”
Looking ahead to the back-to-back away games against Oxford and then 11th-placed Plymouth, he said: “We’ve just got to stay positive, if we’re at it we know we can beat anyone on our day. We’ve just got to stay positive and things will change.”
Asked about last year’s slide into mid-table which started around this point in the campaign, Dozzell said: “I think we’ve learned from last season, so hopefully we’ll get the win in the next two games.”
Reflecting on 2020/21 from a personal perspective, Dozzell is pleased to have played regularly with the midfielder having already started more league games than in his previous seasons.
“I think I’ve done alright but I think I’ve got a lot more to give still,” he said. “Obviously I was getting fitter and fitter [until the suspension], so hopefully I’ll get back that fitness and keep getting fitter and you’ll see the best of me.”
He says he’s happy with the deep-lying midfield role he has occupied with manager Lambert having said he sees him as someone who will take a risk.
“I’m a risk-taker when I’m on the field,” he agreed. “I’m happy just playing anywhere, to be honest, but I’m happy with what the gaffer’s saying to me.”
Dozzell dismissed the suggestion that it’s easier to take risks with fans not at matches and no danger of moans and groans when passes don’t come off: “I don’t mind about that, I don’t change my game at all.”
Although James Norwood limped off injured with a hamstring problem on Saturday, the Blues now have three strikers fit with Aaron Drinan, Kayden Jackson and Oli Hawkins all among the subs at the weekend.
Dozzell says the midfielders and the strikers work on forming an understanding at Playford Road, something he believes will ultimately lead to goals.
“In training that’s something we always work on, just being on the same wavelength,” he said. “That will come in due time.”
Regarding Drinan, who made his first appearance since the opening day of the league season as a sub for Norwood, Dozzell said: “He makes a bad ball into a good one, he’s a pest for defenders and it’s great to have him in the team.”
Dozzell himself is yet to score this season but he says he could get opportunities to venture further up the field depending on who is in the side.
“I’ll have to get one of the midfielders to drop in for me when I go forward!” he said.
“I think it’s all down to personnel. There are some people who can naturally sit in like Brett McGavin, he can sit for me, but if we’ve got a lot of attacking players like Teddy Bishop, he’s probably not going to fill in for me as much. But I think I can get forward a bit more.”
Asked whether his overall message to supporters is ‘Keep the faith’ Dozzell added: “Definitely, you know what this league is like, things can change just like that, so we’ve just got to stay positive and get the three points in the next game.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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