It took all the squad by surprise and no-one really expected it to happen, but in football things change so quickly and you just have to get on with it. One day you have one manager and the next you have another, and that’s how the industry works; if the results aren’t going well then the changes can happen fairly quickly.
Of course, everyone was sad to see Alan go, but you have to move on quickly because there’s games around the corner and you don’t get a lot of time to let anything sink in. There are plenty of players in our changing room who have seen many managerial changes here in the last couple of years, so I think that helps us as we have plenty of experience of how we need to go about our business during times like these.
When you make changes, you have to make the right ones and I believe this is a change for the right reasons. I think personally and across the rest of the lads, we’re all looking forward to working with the new manager, and we know that if we can get the balance between defence and attack right, we have the quality in the team to win some more games. When the manager has previously set his teams up, they didn’t concede too many goals so if we can do that too then we’ll see a change in results.
He didn’t have too long to work with us before we played Watford on Boxing Day but the way we played in the first half we should have probably been a couple of goals to the good. We missed the penalty and maybe that had an effect on us in the second half as we didn’t control it as well as we would have liked, so it was probably a case of two points dropped when you look back on the game.
Since then we’ve been working hard on the training ground trying to get all of his messages across in regards to the team and individuals, and hopefully that’ll stand us in good stead as we entertain Swansea City here this evening who themselves have recently made a managerial change.
With both teams at the wrong end of the table, it’s a massive game and when you’re in the position we’re in, it’s important you beat the teams around you. We know that going into it and we need to put in a performance to ensure that we come away with the three points, especially with it being at home.
A lot was made of our form in 2016 and how much it had changed from the previous year when we were one of the most successful teams in the Premier League, so it’s up to us now to swing it around again and hopefully have a much more successful 2017 under the new manager.