Date: 13th August 2015 at 6:41pm
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Manager Gary Johnson has given his thoughts following the scoreless draw with Aldershot, and looked ahead to the Southport clash this weekend.

Audio – Aldershot Draw Reactions

In quotes carried by the Gloucestershire Echo following the game, Johnson admitted that we hadn’t done enough during the game to justify our first win of the season and he said that knowing we hit the woodwork three times and our visitors certainly had luck on their side.

‘I hope the penny has dropped with them. I left them in no doubt as to what we need. We need courage, heart and brains. We spoke about the Wizard of Oz, one needed a heart, one needed courage and the other needed brains. We need to find that yellow brick road now! Maybe it was a little bit of first night nerves. With these lads if they don’t perform it’s because they are trying too hard. I know we hit the post three times and we had a couple of goals ruled out, but I have to look at the whole scenario and we didn’t do enough.’

Johnson says he wants the team to start performing with the confidence and desire needed for them to look like a side that’s going to win the league this year and when we look like that he’ll be happy.

‘At the moment some of them haven’t quite got the confidence in their game that they had in pre-season. Some of them have not yet realised that it’s not just about turning up, you have to go out and affect the game as the opposition are going to treat us as a big game. Sometimes you have to drag them down to pick them up. They are all fantastic fellas and fantastic footballers, but you have to hit a crescendo when you come to matches. They have to be horrible people who are fantastic footballers with a competitive will to win. They have to change their characters when they go onto the pitch as you are at war with the opposition.’

With Southport up next, Johnson said he hadn’t lose faith with anybody though and he was backing them to click and get it right and hopefully that will come this weekend.

‘I am not losing any faith in these lads, but at the same time we have to be honest with them and tell them when they do well, and when they haven’t done so well. There will be a game when we put it all together like we did during pre-season and I hope that’s on Saturday. We will see where we are after 10 games and then we can assess what we need to do. We could have quite comfortably had six points, but we haven’t. Each time you don’t pick up three points, you have to win your next two and if you don’t there, your next three. If you’re not careful you can get left behind.’

Speaking more about Southport to the Official Site he also went on to explain.

‘We’ve picked up quite a few things that we need to make a note of. That’s not public consumption though otherwise Southport will know what we’re weak at. I’m sure they’ve done their homework and we’ve done our homework on them as well. At this stage of the season all teams are just trying to improve on their weaknesses. Sometimes it’s individuals not quite playing well enough, sometimes it is your shape that is not quite right, whether you are attacking or you need to defend. You have to work at all of that, all of the time and certainly at the start of the season, that’s why you have to wait 10 games at the start of the season to really assess it. At that time you have to have your shape spot on, your personal spot on and then you go for the next ten and the next then and then hopefully you’re up there competing.’

He obviously had hopes that our season would really get started this weekend though and hopefully once that happens and we get the first win the positivity and confidence in the group will go up and push us on to more.

‘It’s obvious that we wanted wins. The boys are showing me that will to win and then it’s down to your ability to put those thoughts out onto the pitch. Some people will grow in confidence and some will get better as they learn the level and as they get to learn a bit more about me, about their mates, about how important it is to this club. So two draws, which I think have both been really entertaining games for the neutral, unfortunately we’re not neutral, we want to win. I think the supporters have seen a couple of good games. It’s just about getting those two goals, we seem to be defending our set plays much better now because we’ve worked on that but yeah it’s about us improving every game and then the wins will come.’

Johnson went on to say that we definitely wouldn’t be taking Southport lightly though as we can’t afford to do that with any opposition this year as it’s a tough league, so our focus and preparation has to be right again but hopefully this game becomes entertaining because it clicks.

Having said he hadn’t lost faith with the lads, and he wouldn’t be making wholescale changes, he did say with the injury that Harry Pell had picked up, he would have to be assessed last minute.

‘I think he’s doing alright, it did look a bit dodgy. He’s got massive calves anyway and they were double the size at half time. But credit to him he carried on. That will be a last minute thing for Saturday so we’ll have to wait and see. He was ill last week and still trained. So he’s getting battered around about but he still comes up trumps wanting to play.’

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