Gill: Playing Shrews Game Sunday Would Have Been Detrimental to Player Performance and Welfare
Monday, 15th Feb 2021 09:26
First-team coach Matt Gill says playing the Shrewsbury game on Sunday would have been “detrimental to player performance and player welfare”.
The match was postponed at just before 2pm on Saturday with the Blues suggesting restaging the fixture on Sunday, however, having explored the logistics of staying over in Shropshire for another night the idea was abandoned.
Gill, who took this morning’s press conference, says an additional midweek game isn’t something Town wanted.
“Disappointing, obviously,” he said regarding the postponement. “I think with the backlog of games we’re already got it was something we could have done without.
“Obviously we prepared properly for the game, travelled up there on Friday and to be in a situation we in at half-one, a quarter-to-two, it’s not ideal.”
He says Town became aware of the situation when they reached the ground: “When we arrived at the stadium, that was 1.30pm. The manager was asked to go onto the pitch pretty quickly to see the officials at that point and that’s when the shenanigans started.”
Gill says Town raised the possibility of playing the match on the Sunday: “It was an avenue that we suggested, but unfortunately if it’s detrimental to player performance and player welfare then [it’s not something we can do].
"And pretty quickly it became clear that regarding hotels, food, the lack of training on the Saturday, that it would have been detrimental to our team performance and player welfare, so it was an avenue we then decided to go against.”
He says having yet another Tuesday night game in an already chocker schedule, isn’t what Town would have wanted but believes there are also upsides to the situation.
“Definitely no but having games come thick and fast, I quite enjoyed it as a player,” he reflected. “I think it’s an opportunity to build momentum quickly that we need.
“And it’s also an opportunity to get over disappointment quickly. If you’ve got a game three days later, you need to not dwell and move on pretty quickly for the next performance.
“So I think the schedule between now and the end of the season is far from ideal, but it’s something that we’ve got to thrive on and try and ignite the season.”
Regarding the players, he says they just wanted to play: “That’s it. It’s so disappointing, we’d prepared and it’s a little bit disappointing.
“A few of the other fixtures were called off the day before and rearranged for Sunday, I know down the road at Colchester was.
“That bit’s a little bit disappointing but once it became detrimental to team performance it was something where we thought we weren’t going to put the players at risk - trying to find a new hotel, trying to get food sorted, training.”
Asked how important that side of pre-match arrangements is, he added: “If I put myself in the players’ shoes, you prepare for a three o’clock kick-off on a Saturday. You train on a Thursday, Friday, you travel. Mentally you’re prepared to go and all of a sudden that’s taken away from you an hour before kick-off, it’s a bit of a blow.
“I think the lads were willing to try and give it a go on the Sunday, all credit to them because I can put myself in their shoes and it’s a tough one to get your head around that quickly.
“The hotel we stayed in hadn’t been open, like a lot of the hotels aren’t open at the moment.
“It was freezing cold to start with, so it’s not as easy. We’re living in a time when it’s not easy just to go and get a hotel for 30 people and then have food and the type of nutrition that the lads need.
“I think that we tried to show some kid of flexibility but, as I said, if it’s detrimental to team performance and player welfare, it’s not an avenue we wanted to go down in the end.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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