Iain Dowie is again taking over some of the media interviews this week for Alan Shearer, and he has talked today to the Newcastle Journal about just how important it is for the lads to get off to a good start against Portsmouth on Monday night.
Iain Dowie – we must start quickly against Portsmouth
In our last two games, against Stoke and Tottenham, we’ve started very slowly and with not much conviction, and let the other side immediately gain the ascendancy. In both cases we’ve gone in at the break one goal down, and given ourselves a big mountain to climb in the second half.
So one of the things Alan and Iain are working on this week is how to simplify the game plan, so the lads start off quicker and get right into Portsmouth – and the other four teams we still have to play this season.
Iain said today:
“We haven’t had that quick start that we’re looking for and it is absolutely crucial that we do better in the first half on Monday,” “We’re working on some strategies to combat it, me and Alan have some things we’ve been talking about and we’ll be talking to the players about it on Wednesday and on Thursday. We need to start at a tempo.”
“I do think, particularly for a home game where there will be a fantastic atmosphere, we’ve got to give the Geordie faithful something to go after.” “We’re going to put a few little bits and pieces in place that will allow us to know what we’re doing early on and allow us to play to our game plan.”
“I think we’re going to try to simplify it early on for the first 20 or so minutes of the game. We have mentioned it – so far we’ve not done quite enough in the first halves, but hopefully we can do that against Portsmouth.” “I think it’s been well documented that we’ve tried to increase the intensity of things since we’ve been here.”
“Everything that we’ve been doing has been at a greater tempo – training, preparation. Now we need to take that into games.”
It’s really a last chance against Portsmouth, and not only do we have to get off to a fast start but a goal would be good too, so the lads can start believing in themselves again, and that has been absent for quite a few months now.
But we still have a chance of survival, if we can win our last 3 home games of the season, and we just have to take that chance to save ourselves from embarrassment and disaster – – anything but a win on Monday night will not be good enough.