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Ward: As a Team We’ve Got to Be Better Going Forward
Sunday, 28th Mar 2021 15:43

Left-back Stephen Ward knows Town have to get back into winning form soon if they’re to be in the end-of-season play-off shake-up as games start to run out with the Blues having struggled for goals all season.

Ward was frustrated that the Blues weren’t able to find the goal which would have turned Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Wigan into a victory which would have put them level with Blackpool in the final play-off place.

“That’s the disappointing thing for us today,” the 35-year-old said when asked about Town’s frustrating afternoon in front of goal at the DW Stadium. “We just spoke about it in the dressing room.

“Plenty of opportunities to create more but just that final ball really let us down. We got into some great areas, I thought especially in the first half we played through the lines really well but it just seemed that no matter what we did [they were able to repel it].

“Give them credit as well, they defended well, anything that came into their box they dealt with, which I thought we did at the other end.

“We know that’s an area we really need to improve on going forward. But we’ve come to a tough place where they’ve picked up results recently, they’ve been doing a lot better.

“We’ve got to dust ourselves down, take the point, get back down the road and make sure we make this point count by going and getting three on Friday at our place.”

The stats make Town’s failings this season all too clear. The Blues are fifth in a League One table based on the fewest goals conceded and fourth-bottom on goals scored.

“It’s always pleasing to get a clean sheet,” Ward continued. “I think as a team, we’ve got to be better going forward. We can’t just put all the pressure on the lads at that end of the pitch, we know we’ve got the capabilities.

“Whether it’s just a bit of confidence that we need, we maybe need just one to go in any which way, but it just seemed that no matter what we did today they had an answer for it, which is disappointing because as a team we’ve got players in there that can create chances and it just didn’t happen for us today.


“But as a whole, I think performance-wise we controlled a lot of the game, especially in the first half and we were disappointed not to come in with a lead at half-time, if I’m being truly honest.”

The result leaves the Blues 11th but only two points off the play-offs, although having played a game more than the Seasiders in sixth, with 10 matches left with Bristol Rovers at Portman Road on Good Friday and Town visiting Rochdale on Easter Monday. Ward believes Town can get into the top six if they can get some momentum going.

“I think the position that we’re in is one we’ve got to be positive about,” he reflected. “I know it’s only a point on the board today but we’ve come away from home again, we’ve two massive games next weekend where we’ll aim for maximum points.

“But it’s so tight, we just need to go on a run. We were hoping that would start today with a victory, we’ve got a point, we have to dust ourselves down. The manager is very meticulous here, he knows the areas we need to improve.

“We’re working extremely hard on the training ground, extremely hard to improve in those areas and improve our style and how he wants us to play and that’s what we’re going to do this week.

‘We’re going to work very hard and we have to turn this point into a really good one by going and putting in a performance on and getting the maximum on Friday.”

Cook said after the game that there were too many players looking for others to make something happen.

“From my point of view, I think the manager’s come in, there are a lot of players here, but a lot of good players and we’ve got to take responsibility ourselves,” Ward said when asked whether he agreed with that assessment. “We’re the ones out there on the pitch, we’re the ones that can affect the games.

“The manager, the staff can only do as much as they can throughout the week. They’ve given us game plans, they’ve set us up well and then it’s up to us to go out and perform.

“We’ve got to shoulder the responsibility, we know we can be better in the final third, we know, we see it in training, we see what we can do and it’s about bringing that into a Saturday, into a Tuesday or whenever we play.

“And that’s got to be the case going forward. We’ve got to still believe we can get into these play-offs because it’s so close.

“We’ve got a run of games where you we hope can pick up some valuable points and stay in with the push.

“I think most importantly, you see it a lot of times throughout seasons, teams that finish strongly tend to go into these play-offs in good form, and that’s what we need to do because we’ve got 10 massive games ahead of us.”

However, he knows time is running out to find that form: “We don’t want to run out of games either. We wanted it to start today, like I said, it just wasn’t to be our day in front of goal.

“We got into a lot of good areas, balls went across the face and, like I said, credit to them, they defended for their lives, they’re battling as well to get as many points as they can to stay in the league.

“They defend well, we know it’s got to be better, we know we can do better but we got into some great areas today and for whatever reason it didn’t fall for us.

“We have to take the positives in terms of it being a point, there are 10 games left, there’s plenty of time to go on a run but we don’t want to run out of games either, we want to make sure that starts as quickly as possible.”

Last week saw manager Cook able to get his players on the training field for a prolonged period of time for the first time since he took charge and with the Blues not in action until Friday, he has the opportunity to do the same in the days ahead.

“It’s difficult for a manager when they come in during the season, he’s trying to get his style of play across, what he wants from us and we’re really working hard at that,” Ward continued. “I think you can see glimpses of it in games.

“You want to work hard on the training pitch, that’s what you want to do. He’s meticulous in how he wants us to play but he also gives us that freedom.

“We’re working really hard on the training pitch and hopefully we can reap the benefits of that come Friday because we had a good week’s training and we came into this game full of confidence.

“Sometimes you get these games where the ball just doesn’t fall for you in the opposition box, that was the case today. But I think as a team, we look solid, for most parts of the game we controlled it.

“But we know there are always areas to improve. He wants us to improve, he wants us to get better, we want to get better as a squad and we’ll work hard again this week and come into two massive games next weekend.”


Photo: Pagepix



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grow_our_own added 15:49 - Mar 28
Agreed Stephen, just like we were when Kenlock was in the team
4

Blue_Meanie added 16:04 - Mar 28
Like beating the third from bottom team in division 3 with a minus 25 goal difference.
For instance.
10

RobsonWark added 16:04 - Mar 28
Ward: "As a Team We’ve Got to Be Better Going Forward"

Talk about stating the obvious!
More great talk from another so called professional footballer but come the match on Friday it will be the usual trash talking on the field.
13

SheptonMalletBlue added 16:07 - Mar 28
Yes, all the players have to shoulder the responsibility because the football you're playing is absolutely cr@p!!!!!!!!
15

multiplescoregasms added 16:12 - Mar 28
My cliché bingo card is almost full again.
19

Karlosfandangal added 16:14 - Mar 28
How many players are going to say that this season........ I think it’s 15 now plus 2 manager and assistant manager
11

Cloddyseedbed added 16:15 - Mar 28
No you are not working really hard on the training pitch or indeed the real pitch. Yesterdays game for who watched it was there for all to see. Don't treat us like fools.
12

Karlosfandangal added 16:21 - Mar 28
Did not watch the game but saw the highlights and I can’t believe Wigan is where they are as they look a better side than us.

But we are a big club that should not be in this league.......or so I have been told by Ipswich managers and players

When the players wake up and see they got us relegated and two mid table finishes in league 1 we might get on better

Hope most of these player get released and Evens give Cook money to make us a team that can win this league and hold there own in the Champioship
7

RobITFC added 16:22 - Mar 28
Sorry but all we hear each week is blah blah blah and then the players fail to turn up for the games!
10

stiggytrunk1955 added 16:39 - Mar 28
as a team your a disgrace
10

Tractorboy58 added 16:41 - Mar 28
This team is pathetic
8

90z added 16:48 - Mar 28
Stop talking and perform.
8

DoseOfReality added 17:11 - Mar 28
🥱
1

therein61 added 17:23 - Mar 28
There's nobody appearing to be trying to earn a new contract!! i guess we've made them so well off they can't be bothered.
8

phillev231069 added 17:39 - Mar 28
Saying isn't doing zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!
2

Dolphinblue added 17:45 - Mar 28
😪
0

PortmanTerrorist added 17:49 - Mar 28
Mentally shot. Senior players can't deliver on or off the pitch. Please all shut up and stop embarrassing yourselves and our wonderful Club.

Here's a thought, how about starting by running yourselves into the ground in a match day? Try it, other clubs reckon it might help with results! Until then, zip it.
8

Letchworth_Blue added 18:04 - Mar 28
When none of you can pass the ball 5 yards without losing it we have absolutely no chance of creating or scoring goals. It's not the players faults. They are not good enough and unfortunately they are being told otherwise.
3

muhrensleftfoot added 18:05 - Mar 28
Unlucky Ward being put in front of the mic. Let's get this right. This is by a country mile the worst town team in living memory. Maybe some of the bad habits can be trained out of the younger players. I do hope so. A wholesale clear out required in the summer. Hope the new manager has good contacts because ME unlikely to offer much in the way of a transfer chest
13

Carberry added 18:06 - Mar 28
'It's always pleasing to get a clean sheet...' You've been in the game too long Stephen, this cliched BS just doesn't do it anymore. Do you know the dross your team mates have been spouting, the way you have collectively played and the despair supporters are experiencing or don't you give a you know what?
8

ghostofescobar added 18:10 - Mar 28
Usual “yada yada”.
3

Pencilpete added 18:35 - Mar 28
Brilliant- you worked that out all by yourself did you ?
4

TractorRoyNo1 added 18:46 - Mar 28
Better to just shut up!
5

DifferentGravy added 18:48 - Mar 28
Really isnt difficult.......when you have one attacking player against four defenders.....the outcome(unless you were Messi) is inevitable.

Been saying the same last season and this season......players in the box, players looking for give n go, players overlapping, players taking shots. Invention in set pieces. Dont allow the opposition to get back into position.........we are just far too predictable.

Watch posh or lincoln or hull......fairly average teams but they get players into goalscoring positions........we bang it up in the air and hope Norwood can do it on his own.......then a handful of fans have the audacity to have a go at Norwood for not scoring more......unbelievable
9

Pezzer added 18:52 - Mar 28
Actions speak louder than words.
5


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