Smithies previews Saturday’s game
Alex Smithies has been counting down the days to Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship against Birmingham City.
The goalkeeper was very disappointed with the performance and result at Norwich last weekend and has been itching to put things right back out on the pitch this weekend.
Alex explained: “We came in at the start of the week and faced up to what happened on Saturday. We’ve analysed it and we’re disappointed. We watched some of the game back and talked about where we can improve as a group. We should be doing better away from home and that’s down to us to put things right.
“We’ve had to wait for a week, whereas we would probably have liked a game on Tuesday so we could get it out of our systems.
“We can’t dwell on it though; now we have to quickly move on. It was a case of getting back to work on Tuesday. Luckily the games come around quickly at Christmas and we now have a run where we can pick up points. We focussed on starting to put things right on Saturday.”
With a run of games in quick succession starting with the visit of the Blues on Saturday, Alex is targeting a run of results that will move the side up the table.
“The Championship is always so close, so the team that finds consistency soon rises up the table. We’ve not been able to do that yet; we’ve picked up good wins and good points, but then lost in the next week and let ourselves down.
“We’re going into the Christmas period thinking about being consistent. We’re obviously looking to win on Saturday, but at the same time there’s no need to panic.
“Obviously we all look at the table all the time, but equally all you can focus on is the game at hand. If you win, it will generally take you up the division. We’re certainly looking up as opposed to below. We want to break into the top half and it will only take another little run, like the one we had a few weeks ago, to do so.”
Alex is likely to feature behind a different combination of players on Saturday, with injury to Joel Lynch and Murray Wallace’s suspension forcing changes in personnel.
“It’s fine for me,” Alex continued. “I’ve played with everyone who can play in the defensive line and we train together day in, day out too. That won’t be a big issue regardless of who is available to play and who the Manager chooses.
“We’re going into Saturday’s game aiming for a clean sheet as the minimum. More importantly, we’re looking to win the game. We’re full of confidence at home given our recent results here.”
Saturday’s opponents come into the game on the back of a thumping 6-1 victory over Reading last weekend and generally upturned form following Manager Gary Rowett’s arrival, but Alex is more interested in the performance of the Town side on Saturday.
“We’ve looked at Birmingham’s strengths and weaknesses and it’s no surprise how they’ve turned it around; it often happens when a new, good Manager goes into a club. It happened when Chris Powell came here; after the first couple of weeks, we went on a seven game unbeaten run. I think players often try and prove themselves to a new manager.
“Regardless of who we’re playing, my job as a goalkeeper pretty much stays the same! Hopefully we can get off to a good start, take the lead and stay strong throughout.”
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