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Jaap: “Our main focus is our own team”

4 November 2016

The gaffer looks ahead to Saturday’s meeting with Wigan

The season is less than three months old, and yet Saturday’s trip to Wigan will mark the fourth time we have met a team that is undergoing a transition in the manager’s office.

Chris Powell took temporary charge of Derby just before our Madejski Stadium meeting, as did Steve Bruce with Aston Villa, and most recently Kenny Jackett was making his first appearance in Rotherham’s dugout when we won 1-0 at New York Stadium.

And now Warren Joyce has been appointed at the DW Stadium to replace Gary Caldwell and he’ll be opposite number of our gaffer Jaap Stam this Saturday.

But Stam knows that the most important thing for his team is to prepare themselves as well as possible, rather than putting any real modicum of thought into their opponents’ issues.

“We have seen a couple of their games; we know how they want to play,” said the Dutchman.  “They have had a change of manager – when that happens, the players of course want to prove themselves to the new manager as well.

“Sometimes that makes things a bit different because you never know what they will do, what kind of team you will be facing or how they are going to be playing.  We need to be ready for that – we’ll look at the scenario and what they can do in certain games and we’ll do some tactical training to get us ready for that game on Saturday. 

“Of course the opposition is very important and you need to know about their quality of players and how they play and what they want to achieve.  But our main focus is our own team.  We look at what we can do, how we can play and how we can improve our style of play and make it difficult for the opposition.

“We think about the opposition and their players, but our main concern is our team and our way of playing and trying to bring that to perfection to beat the opposition.”

A number of players are making progress towards full fitness after spells on the sidelines, the manager explained earlier this week.

And he is looking forward to having more weapons in the armoury again soon, and more options to use to break down different types of opponents.

“It’s not going to be an easy game, but everyone is really up for it,” he continued.  “Everybody wants to get a result again, and it would be nice to go into that international break with a good result to stay in a good position in the table as well.

“The opposition always play in a certain way against us, so we need to find certain different things within the game where we can make a difference, so it’s not very predictable for the opposition when they play us.

“You can do that in the way you want to play, in your shape, in your choices of which players you use… and we’ll think about all of that.”

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