Manager looks ahead to Brighton
Mark Robins wants his players to take Brighton on at their own game on Saturday.
Town’s Manager believes the two teams’ playing styles are very similar and he is expecting an entertaining game of football at the Amex.
He said: “I am anticipating a really good game. I remember last year when we played really well for 70 minutes and then all of sudden we switch off, concede a goal and lose the game 4-1. That still rankles with me and I want the players – on the back of five good performances – to go there with plenty of confidence and take them on at their own game.
“They have been playing a particular style of football for four or five years now, but I think you can see the comparisons between the two teams.
“The fans understand our intentions and what we are trying to do and from my perspective that is a big help because it gives the players confidence,” Mark added. “The lads are giving me everything they possibly can, but on occasions we are falling short like we did against Reading.”
Brighton’s method of progressing up the footballing ladder has seen them recruit players of diverse nationalities with the likes of David Lopez, Leonardo Ulloa and Bruno all joining the Amex-based club in the last few years.
“In my opinion it doesn’t matter where you recruit from or what nationality the player is,” said Mark. “When you look at our Club the supporters love that we are bringing local, home-grown talent into the side. When we bring the likes of Duane (Holmes) on or Tommy (Smith) the supporters get really behind them. Saying that, they are behind every one of the players, but I think there is something a little extra with the local lads.
“When players are ready they get an opportunity and sometimes they will get one before they expect. Somebody will get an opportunity with Joel Lynch being out of the side this weekend and whatever I decide to do, the player will have to be prepared.”
19 year-old Holmes almost created the equaliser against Reading when Martin Paterson hit the post and Mark is delighted with the young midfielder's progress.
“Duane is a really great prospect; I love watching him play,” he said. “He works hard every day and hangs on to every word that you tell him. We give him good information and speak to him a lot about his game. I don’t want him to be a one trick pony because he has got a lot of attributes. He has pace, power, trickery and strength.
“Duane plays an important role in the team, but he needs to keep adding to his game. After the Reading match I spoke with Nigel Adkins and he said that he was thinking of man-marking him. Duane needs to be aware that teams will try and do that to him and he will have to add other strings to his bow to combat that.”
The rumour mill will be kicking into gear during the next few weeks ahead of the January transfer window and Mark reaffirmed the Club’s current position.
“I know supporters will be hoping for in-comings and if there is someone out there that will improve us and we can do a deal with, then it is a possibility. If there is a deal to be done, in or out, that is for the benefit of the Club, then it could get done.
“The players we have in the building are working their socks off and deserve the opportunities that they are getting. We are not standing still though, and are always looking to improve; otherwise we will end up going backwards.”
Apart from the missing defensive duo of Joel Lynch (suspended) and Peter Clarke (knee), Mark finished by saying that he doesn’t have any selection issues and has 'more or less' a fully fit squad to choose from.
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