After Welling United’s defeat at Chelmsford, Alex Dyer spoke about where things went wrong and about how he saw the rest of the season panning out.
He was hopeful of getting something from the game at the interval before the team imploded. He said “We spoke at half time. We mentioned that we had ridden or luck a little bit but we’ve come in 1-0 up and I thought that as the first half went on we were all right. We’d weathered the storm but you can’t explain what went on in the first three minutes (of the second half)
“I didn’t even sit in my seat and I saw the first goal go in and I’m thinking ‘one one, just stay in the game now for the next five or ten minutes’ but that didn’t happen and in under three minutes they’d scored another goal.
“I was just disappointed because in the last two games the lads had done all right. Coming in against better opposition, a side that’s going for the play offs, who have come in off a bad result, we knew it was going to be difficult. To go one nil up at half time was good for the boys. I was feeling that maybe their luck had changed just a little bit but if you don’t do the right things at the right time you’re always going to get punished.”
It was particularly difficult to take because of the half time team talk focussing on the opening of the second period. Dyer continued “We spoke about the first ten or fifteen minutes. You say things like ‘don’t give them anything, do the right things, be professional.’ but it doesn’t matter what formation you play. It’s attitude.”
“There were two mistakes (for the first goal) the back pass and the miss kick and then the second goal, we’re not picking up at a set play. You can’t legislate for that. You try and stay in the game, which I think that we did. We changed formation, we tried to get ourselves back in the game but we conceded again so it wasn’t going to be our day.”
Although this was Dyer’s first away game in charge, he is well aware that the form away from Park View Road has been poor. “We don’t travel well away from home.” he said. “You do look at players and see how their attitude is. I’m not saying that they didn’t try because they did. It’s two bad mistakes in the second half that cost us the game really.
“If we’d stayed in the game, we’d have been all right. I wouldn’t have minded coming away with a draw but we’ve come back with nothing. But you do learn about players. You always learn more in defeat. We’ve got two more games and hopefully we can put it right.”
Next weekend, Dyer may look at one or two fringe players but only if he believes it will improve the team’s chances of winning. He said “I’ll always go as strong as I can. Whether it will be the players that have been on the bench and they need to come on, of course.
“I’ll go with what I see as the strongest team. It might need freshening up. We’ve had two games in four days and the ones on the bench, I want to see what they can do. It might be time to have a little look at them.”
Even though Welling are free from the threat of relegation, he expects the players to show some pride in their remaining games. “It doesn’t matter that you think you’re safe.” he said “You still have to give it a hundred percent. Today wasn’t our day but I’ll come in next week looking to win that game and I want to see a different type of attitude from the players. We’ll work at it during training and see how it goes next week.”
Despite the result, he said how much he was enjoying his football “I love it, I love it. I’ve been in the game for a long time. I’ve won games and I’ve lost games and I love every bit of it. I want to win games but you can’t win every game. No-one does.
“I’ve made a mental note of what went on today of what I can change next week and who I can rely on so we’ll take it from there.”
Midway through the second half he changed to playing three centre backs with wing-backs and that he could use it in the next game. “Maybe,” he suggested “I like that formation, I’ve played it before myself as a player and as a coach and I know how it works but you have to play it if you’ve got the right players. We have got the players to play it. I’ll look at it this week and see who’s fit and who’s raring to go.”
Whether the supporters had been given value for the efforts made to get to Chelmsford on a bank holiday Dyer said: “Obviously not because we’ve lost the game, and the manner of the first five minutes of the second half, but over the full ninety minutes they’ve tried their best.
“I’m not going to say that the players haven’t tried because they have tried but the mistakes are mistakes that we should eradicate and should never happen. We have to try next week to put it right.
“The position in the league doesn’t lie. We’ve been down there for a reason because we haven’t won enough games where we’ve done the right things at the right times. That has to change because we don’t want a season like this ever again. We don’t want to be fighting relegation so whoever’s here next year, whether it’s myself or someone else, we have to make sure that we have a bunch of players and a way of playing that will win us games.”
Avoiding relegation was the aim when he arrived but he feels that the club could do so much more. “It’s not an achievement that you want to be labelled with.” he continued. “Each season, someone goes up, four or five teams make the play offs and there’s got to be three teams that go down so you don’t want to be in that position.
“We’ve survived and we can look forward to another season, but I still want us to finish the season well. That’s the main thing because momentum will carry you over to next season and if you’re looking at new players, players to come in, and you’re looking at the better players who want to stay, then they want to know that we’re not looking to fight relegation. Players have got to be looking at fighting for promotion.”
Dyer confirmed that even though he started with two wins, he was aware that there were problems. He said: “I’m a realistic guy. I know that even though we have won those two games, I know that we’re not the best of teams because of where we are in the league. I know that there’s a lot of work to be done and I knew that there was a lot of work to be done even after we’d won those two games.
“It’s a lesson for us for next year to make sure we’re right all the way through, and to not pick our games, or pick the times when we think we need to do it because when they’ve needed to do it they’ve done it. When they’ve needed to pull out a result, they’ve pulled out a result. Mentally, good players do that all the time. Good teams do that all the time and we haven’t done that.”
Two league games remain and it is very clear that he will be looking for two strong performances.
Picture supplied by Dave Budden.