Manager on continuing to adapt to a new styleOur gaffer Jaap Stam gave us a little bit of an insight into his playing philosophy and the methods behind it.
We are currently second to only Manchester City in the top two tiers of English football for the possession percentages so far – and our performances have already returned five wins and a draw from the opening eight fixtures!
And the manager is confident that the team can keep evolving and become more proficient in their new playing style.
“We know what we can do and the boys did it very well at certain times,” he said after the 2-1 win on Friday night. “I can understand that some of the fans can get nervous in a way. They want us to play the ball forward, without taking any risks. But we want to play it out from the back, we want to play possession, and we had a lot of space to play that ball in the first half against Ipswich.
“If you play from the back, to the midfield and then to the forwards, you get to the positions you want to end up. Our supporters are starting to understand this is what we’re trying to do, appreciate that this is the way we want to play…sometimes we’re going to be taking some risks in how we want to play.
“And sometimes mistakes will be made. Of course we don’t want to do that – we’re trying to prepare everybody very well so that they don’t make errors, but that’s football. You work with humans… humans make mistakes and sometimes that happens in football. We’ll do everything in our power to prep the players to make the right decisions at the right times.
“If there isn’t pressure on Ali, the goalkeeper, you should keep it. If for whatever reason you can’t play it forward, you keep it, you hold it and you wait. Because eventually one of the opponents step out because they get frustrated, because they want the ball as well. So rather than playing a long ball and losing it and having to chase it again, instead we want to build from the back to try to score a goal.
“Otherwise the opponent has got the ball, and we don’t want that. We want them to use a lot of energy chasing the ball. And then towards the end of the game, we will have saved the energy to take advantage and score goals.
“I know that it’s a totally new way of playing here. The last couple of seasons has been 4-4-2 with a flat midfield or a diamond in midfield – and that’s not the way we’re playing now. And I can understand that some of the fans want to see the ball at the other end quickly. But this is our style of play and we will try to do it better and better, time and time again.”