Gill: On Another Day We Win It
Monday, 22nd Feb 2021 10:15
Blues first-team coach Matt Gill felt on another day Town would have won Saturday’s 0-0 home draw with Oxford and was delighted with the performances of James Wilson and Keanan Bennetts, who returned after lengthy spells out, as well as with midfield duo Andre Dozzell and Teddy Bishop, and strike pair James Norwood and Troy Parrott.
“On another day you go away and win it,” Gill said. “I think that [there were plenty of] chances created, as well as another clean sheet, which is good, I think that’s three clean sheets in the last four.
“I think now it’s just about keeping that defensive solidity about us and making sure we’re taking advantage at the other end.”
Wilson was playing his first game since the Lincoln trip on October 24th having suffered a knee problem which eventually required surgery.
Gill was delighted with the 31-year-old’s display: “Willo did great. Obviously he’s a really experienced lad, he trains well, once he’d got back from his operation and his rehab he’s been desperate to play a part in turning the season around a little bit. Willo did great, so I was really pleased for him.”
Winger Bennetts, who is on loan with the Blues for the season from Borussia Mönchengladbach, last played on December 15th against Burton when he suffered a groin injury.
“Really pleased with Keanan after the weekend,” Gill continued. “He had to be really patient after his injury but it’s good to have him back in and around it.
“What I like is he’s got courage, I think he wants to take people on. It’s a pity the fans aren’t in, but he wants to excite fans, he wants to be attacking and I really like that bravery about him.
“And I think that’s what this next stage is going to be about, about having players that are brave enough to try and make things happen. Don’t worry about giving possession away, going and receiving the ball again and taking the game to the opposition really, and that’s what I like about Keanan.”
Gill was also pleased with the way Bishop and Dozzell combined in the centre of midfield playing slightly differently to in previous games with Parrott ahead of them in a more attacking role.
“They’ve done great, really pleased with the pair of them, playing in a slightly different way on Saturday in a two-man midfield,” he said. “They both did really well with that, on both sides of the game, in possession and out.
“I think they were both quite dogged out of possession and I think everyone knows how much quality they’ve got in possession. It was good to see the two of them performing well.”
Norwood came closest to winning it for the Blues when he hit the post in the second half and the former Tranmere man put in a lively display.
Gill is pleased to see the striker, who has struggled with a hamstring problem all season, back involved and looking sharper.
“I think having that competition for places will only make us stronger between now and the end of the season,” he said. “Having more people to choose from, more people in form. I think it’ll really help going forward.”
Norwood managed 80 minutes against the U’s, longer than he’s played in previous games but tired towards the end of his time on the field, and Gill says it’s not too much of a concern that the frontman isn’t finishing games at present
“I don’t think so, Aaron [Drinan] came on at the weekend,” he said. “We’re asking our front players to put in a helluva shift and modern day centre forwards, they’ll pretty much work really, really hard for the team out of possession and in possession. I’m not convinced there are too many that play a full 90 and can do it every week.
“Nors is desperate to play 90 minutes and he’s quite capable of doing that. I just think we have to be careful in the way we manage certain players at the moment.”
He felt Norwood combined well with Parrott, who was playing just behind him against Oxford for the first time against Oxford.
“Good players can combine,” he said. “Obviously both want to score goals, both want to get on the ball and it looked a decent partnership at the weekend.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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