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Morsy: The Positive Thing is Performances Have Been Good
Friday, 9th Feb 2024 18:46

Sam Morsy will lead Town into battle against West Bromwich Albion at Portman Road tomorrow seeking only their second win in nine league games, a blip in form that has seen them be overtaken by promotion rivals Southampton and Leeds, and dropped down from second to fourth place in the Championship table.

But Morsy, who has netted three times in his 25 league appearances this term and was absent on three occasions recently through suspension, believes what matters most is that the Blues remain in contention for a second successive promotion, a dream scenario that few would have envisaged when the current campaign was about to get under way back in August last year.

Morsy, who has amassed more than 500 league appearances in his career, said: “It’s a 46-game, 10-month season. No team is consistent and if they are, they are 10 to 15 points clear, like Leicester are.

“Across the course of the season, we’re all experienced enough to know you have different spells. Last year we had different spells, but I think the positive thing is that performances have been good.

“We haven’t been far away if you look at Norwich at home, Stoke away and other different games where we drew and couldn’t quite get that goal we needed. But performances have been really important and in the last two games we’ve lost, I think we had about 60 efforts and a lot of possession in both.

“We just have to evaluate it in a clear-headed way; at the same time, we know we have to be better and we have to improve. We won’t be sweeping it under the carpet and saying it will get better; it’s up to us to make sure it gets better. We’ve been competitive in all games and it’s a constant learning process, that’s all it is.

“I remember last season, when we were conceding late on quite often, it actually propelled us forward towards the end when we saw games out. The way the manager deals with everything, it’s all a lesson and an opportunity to get better and that’s what we’re going to try to do, just keep getting better every week and if we do that the results will come.”

After last season’s epic end to the club’s four-year stint in League One, when they accompanied champions Plymouth into the Championship and pipped Sheffield Wednesday to the runners-up spot, Town are yet again in the midst of a dog-eat-dog promotion battle, alongside Southampton and Leeds, to see who can finish second to runaway leaders Leicester.

Asked how it felt to be positioned where they are at the moment, Morsy said: “It’s amazing and you’ve got to enjoy it and you’ve got to embrace it. In the first weeks of the season everyone predicts where they think you’ll finish and then in the middle of the season everyone wants to know where you’re going to finish, and before you know where you are the season’s done.

“It’s actually a journey, not about the destination, and it’s about enjoying the journey. The fans have been incredible; we saw it again at Preston when they were out in their numbers, even though it wasn’t our day. It’s about enjoying it as a club, really. In recent years the club haven’t had too many things to cheer about.

“We find ourselves in a race for promotion and I’m sure you would all have taken where we are right now. We’re in a great spot, a great spot to attack it and we’ve added some additions as well. It’s a really positive group, it’s a real together group, so let’s see what we can do. Let’s see how many games we can win.”

Town’s promotion bid is being played out in front of capacity crowds at home, while 3,500 fans made the long journey north to Preston last week, roaring on Morsy & Co as they fought back from a nightmare first-half display and only narrowly failed to turn the 3-0 half-time deficit into a 3-3 draw.

“The fans have been incredible,” added Morsy. “At the home games, because there are so many of them, they really make their voices heard.

“We’ve only lost one home league game this season and they’ve been terrific, the way they have pushed us on, and we are going to need them more than ever to keep pushing us over the line. Like I said, to be in the race is amazing and we’ll take it one game at a time and do our best, starting against West Brom on Saturday.”

Morsy was asked for his views about the decision to trial sin bins next season and if players are ever consulted on such matters. He responded: “No, I saw it on social media yesterday. I don’t know, to be honest. They just keep trying to change the game, don’t they? VAR, sin bins, next it will be penalties that will change and then, I don’t know what.

“They keep trying to change it and I don’t know why. Leave the beautiful game the way it is.”

Finally, skipper Morsy was asked if he had any thoughts on his pathway after playing and he replied: “I’m not sure, to be honest. I think, in your younger days, you probably think you’re going to know by now what you will want to do in the future. But, to be honest, you really don’t know.

“My focus right now is only on playing and to play to the very best of my ability. I’m sure there will be a time when I start to think about the future but I’m the type of person who puts his entire energy into one thing.”

The club’s oldest player, Sone Aluko, recently talked about his role that extends to the analysis team at Portman Road, which can see him in the dressing room at half-time, passing on tips based on his observations on the first-half action.

“It is really good with the analysis and the stats, to be honest,” added Morsy. “It’s interesting, because it can tell you pictures and it is good to see, but then at the same time as well it can be misleading as well.

“I’ll give you a midfield example on interceptions. You and your midfield partner; he might always be out of position and he might intercept four balls, but five balls might break the line, whereas you might have really good positioning, block the passing lines and maybe intercept one ball, but nothing goes through you.

“The stat will say that your mate intercepted it a lot more than you, so it’s little things like that. You have to interpret it in a way and how you’re doing.

“A lot of it is good but I also believe that the eye test is very important as well, definitely, because there will be games, Premier League games that I watch with my friends and my friends will have a data, analytical point of view and I’ll say ‘Well, I didn’t quite see that in the eye test’.

“So, it’s a fine balance, but there are definitely a lot of pros as well, so it’s all just taking the whole picture into consideration really, I feel.”

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SickParrot added 19:54 - Feb 9
I agree with most of what Sam says but I would question one thing. Is it still a good performance if we're completely hopeless for 45 minutes but batter the opposition in the second half but still lose?

dirtydingusmagee added 21:30 - Feb 9
really need a win ,not going to be easy though, Hopefully defence awake anf front men got shooting boots on , Also hope the gossip about the Palace job dosnt unsettle the camp .

chepstowblue added 21:57 - Feb 9
We've been playing well in the second half of matches.....because we've had to chase games. Absolutely b****y awful in the first half's recently.

rodney76 added 08:12 - Feb 10
Morsey is exaggerating, performances have been mixed recently, with the good, the bad and the indifferent in equal portions.

Edmundo added 08:39 - Feb 10
We're having an above average season with a fantasy football start. Playoffs are a minimum aim now, whereas they were the best scenario 6 months ago. We have 3 months to get ready for a date at Wembley imo.

Edmundo added 08:41 - Feb 10
We're having an above average season with a fantasy football start. Playoffs are a minimum aim now, whereas they were the best scenario 6 months ago. We have 3 months to get ready for a date at Wembley imo. Let the new guys settle then we'll have another good run.

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