After seven fixtures squeezed into just 22 days, now we’re at the front-end of a fortnight without football. A chance to catch our breath again over the international period and to get some bodies back too.
We have missed the likes of John Swift, Ovie Ejaria, Yakou Meite, Tom Holmes, Felipe Araruna and Liam Moore in recent fixtures with various injury issues; Andy Yiadom and Sam Baldock made returns to the squad in the last week too after spells on the sidelines.
So this break comes as a blessing. A chance to work on getting those players back available again, as well as a chance to assess the positives and the opportunities from the opening 11 fixtures of the campaign.
“The most important thing now is how we bounce back – how fast, and how quickly we can recover from the losses,” said manager Veljko Paunović. “Those are the main characteristics of champions.
“We know that injuries don’t help anyone. It’s not the same as when you have everyone available, and when you have to rotate and motivate people. These are things we had to do when we were healthy and now it is a different story, and of course that affects the overall spirit.
“But we are not complaining, and we will never look for the excuses. We will keep working and there are always guys who are ready and eager, and hungry to play.
“And now it’s a good moment for reflection. It’s a good moment for evaluating things, analysing and detecting what we have to improve, and putting together a plan that the guys can execute when they come back after a few days.
“We are always hungry, we want to get back and compete as soon as possible… but it’s important during this break to reflect on everything and look for solutions and improvement.
“We depend on ourselves, and what we are depending on right now is our reaction and how we are going to fix things going forward.”