Embleton Previews Trip To Colchester

access_time 11 months ago

Head Coach Ross Embleton has challenged his players to prove that the defeat in  the league last time out was “just a blip.”

Speaking to Phil Parry from BBC London, Embleton covered a variety of topic, including the recent run of tough fixtures, injury news, and the approach for Saturday’s game at Colchester United.

On adapting to the new norms of football behind closed doors;

“We continue to remain creative as a club, so traditional things like coming in on a Wednesday and playing the youth team in training has been restricted because they can’t train with us. There’s a wider scale there of young players’ futures, who don’t get the chance to impress.

Coming through a tough run of games:

“We knew it would be tough. I’m disappointed as I feel we should have had a point out of the Forest Green game, as we created six chances we should have scored – so disappointed at that and the manner of the goals conceded.

“We never really gave Newport the test we should have given them, and never really stamped ourselves on the game, and then Tuesday  [Charlton Athletic] was one of those games where your damned if you do and your damned if you don’t, and the beauty of me saying this is that I’d said the same thing when we’d won the last two games!

On Colchester United:

It’s important it’s not a long one to travel too, and it’s always a good ground to go and play at. We want to go and win. They’re an interesting team, and despite the managerial changes are similar in their approach.

We can forget about that last league defeat by picking up a win. We’ve had two cup runs this year, although Spurs got dragged from beneath us.

A break from midweek fixtures coming up:

It gives us a real opportunity. We can keep tabs on our youth prospects like Brendan Shabani and Shad Ogie, but we’re excited to see what we can do with the players from a coaching perspective.


On the SkyBet League Two table:

If you can put a run together in this league you feel like you can get into the playoffs. Michael Flynn said last week, people from 3rd down to 18th will feel they have a chance.

It’s important not to get carried away either way; my big message to the players is that yes we’re disappointed to exit the FA Cup, the Papa Johns Trophy we were through, but the league there’s been just one defeat in recent times, so we need to ensure we make that just a blip.


On Jobi’s ambassadorial role:

The way he helps the boys in the dressing room is second to none. But we missed him immensely last season on the playing front.

Martin came to me when we went through that crazy recruitment period, and it was exciting to have a player of that caliber coming in – and he wanted to make a point after his first spell, and he’s done that with bells on.

What he’s done really well is given himself a real platform to give himself opportunities after football – but god knows when that will be!

Jobi helping with player development:

Josh Koroma is the obvious one to point towards – Justin was hard on him, whilst Jobi had the arm around him, and was inspirational and calming on that level.

I look at the current crop of the players, and there is a number, but I’d point towards the recent performances of Hector Kyprianou in particular – we’ve given him a real big platform.


Update on injuries:

The boys have come through Tuesday well, but the lack of reserve football has probably impacted the likes of Jayden Sweeney and Jordan Thomas, who went in against a good side in Charlton.

With Ruel Sotiriou, he came on at Forest Green Rovers and was on his way back, and last week was planned to start against Newport. Unfortunately, though, he picked up an injury in training –  one of those when no one was around him – so it caused us real concern.

He’s missed international duty, and the physios are working closely with him, but this Saturday may be too soon.

Tunji Akinola was cup-tied, but needed a rest on Tuesday, put in great performances and has been excellent. It’s worth remembering it’s his first experience of league football, so the breather would have been welcome.

Craig Clay suffered some soreness in his hamstrings after the game against Newport, so the smart thing again was to have him rest up.

Lee Angol stepping up recovery, with Juddy slightly ahead of him – but we need to be sensible with them both and make sure they’re not put in harm’s way.


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