Hi Iwan, you’ve had time over the weekend now to reflect on Friday and watch the game back again, are you still disappointed not to have got anything out of the game or have you been able to enjoy the performance put in by the team against the current Welsh Champions?
I began to dissect the game immediately after the game and we just needed that little bit of luck whether it being the bounce of the ball in key areas or one of the two penalty shouts we had towards the end to go for us. However in football you have to create your own luck and if we continue to show that level of commitment and desire our luck will certainly change. I was proud of the effort and the performance and it’s not often you wanted another five minutes on top of the ninety played against a full time professional outfit but I believed we were knocking on the door and the longer the game went on the more we looked like getting that equaliser. We will get there though and we will have generated a bit more belief and momentum going into a key fixture at Prestatyn next Friday night which is what I wanted.
The work rate shown by the lads on Friday against a full time side certainly looked to us as though they were out there playing for you and this football club, that must be pleasing for you after only a couple of weeks here?
That is what I demand as a Manager. The badge and the club have to mean something. I would give anything to still be playing and especially at the level we’re at and for Llandudno Football Club. The environment I’m trying to create is one where they would run through brick walls for each other and on Friday night they certainly did that. Marc Williams playing that lone striker role epitomised that. To walk into the tunnel at full time to the applause we got was a pleasing moment but the players deserved that. I want the board, the fans, the academy, the women’s team, the community programme to all be pulling in the same direction and that can stem from the first team’s performance levels and effort. For me, yes it’s pleasing but we still lost the game so I’ll be challenging myself and my team to continue with that work rate and desire to achieve the results we need.
You were present at our U19’s FAW Youth Cup 3rd Round victory against Cefn Druids last Thursday, firstly what did you make of the quality on show, and is the youth here at the club a keen area of interest for you moving forward?
I was extremely impressed by all of the squad. There is huge promise amongst them and as the Manager of the First Team I’m excited to see how they develop. One thing I will be looking to change in future is that they only play for this football club and that I sanction the loan deals going forward. Most if not all of them are good enough to be challenging for a place in the First Team Squad and I want them to start training with us as much as they can. I’m a big believer in developing young local talent and with the level of quality at our disposal within the Under 19’s, it’s fundamental we give them a platform to continually improve. To go hand in hand with talent you have to show commitment which is exactly what the team did against Cefn Druids in gaining a well-deserved victory.
We make the short journey away to Prestatyn Town this Friday night, are these the sort of games you would say we need to be winning if we’re to make a serious challenge for that top six?
It’s a must win game, it’s as simple as that. We have to go into the game with a siege mentality and in turn, doing everything we can to win the game. The last two games have been tough. I learnt a lot about the team in Barry Town and the way the players implemented our game plan against TNS proves we’re heading in the right direction. I’ve always enjoyed going to Bastion Gardens and I have the utmost respect for Neil Gibson, Gaz Wilson and their squad but we will be worrying about us and ourselves only. It’s imperative we show the same level of desire and commitment as we did against TNS. If we do that then I’m sure we’ll be able to achieve a positive result.
With us playing on a Friday that can be disruptive to our usual training regime of Tuesday / Thursday nights. How do you look to adapt your training session and your contact time with the team to accommodate a midweek fixture?
There’s not a lot we can do. I try and communicate as much as I can with my players so that they already know the game plan heading into Friday night’s fixture. We will talk heavily on the tactics board before training on our own shape and approach before touching on the opposition so they’re aware. I’m huge on analysis and although the message to my squad is to only worry about us, I will have done all the preparation required to inform the squad of their roles in and out of possession. At this level even the finer detail counts so the more preparation you do, the better.