“They Have To Perform” – Michael Skubala’s Comments Pre-Accrington Stanley

Credit Graham Burrell

Michael Skubala has made it clear to his squad that they’ve got to perform when handed the chance as players begin to return from injury.

Speaking ahead of tonight’s match against Accrington Stanley, Michael admitted that it was nice to have bodies back in the team. Ted Bishop and Sean Roughan have both returned from injury recently, meaning that some players have been left out of the squad altogether.

However, out of the squad does not mean out of mind, and Michael confirmed competition for places is paramount heading into the Christmas period.

“The lads that are not making the squad are pushing and making it competitive every day,” Michael said in his pre-match interview.

“The players that are on the bench or in the team have to perform. We’ve got those players started to come back, and we’ve got a few more bodies where they have to do well in how we want to play and what we want to do.”

One of the players yet to make an impression for the new manager is Sean Roughan. He missed matches against Stevenage and Leyton Orient on international duty, and then returned from Ireland with a knock. That doesn’t mean he’s out of Michael’s thinking.

“Sean’s a good player,” he added. He’s come back from international duty, and he’s not really got on the pitch yet because people have been doing well. He got on the pitch for the last, what, five or ten (against Wigan). I thought he did well.”

Tonight’s game will be take two, with the original fixture having been postponed last Tuesday. Anyone labouring under the impression that it would simply be a rerun of last week, team selection and all, would be mistaken. Michael confirmed seven days makes a lot of difference when it comes to the fixture.

“It’s different. It’s a different week. So, that week, we didn’t have a game on the Saturday; it would have been a two-game week.

“We’re now into a three-game week, so for me, it’s a different situation to manage, and things might have to look a little bit different because we’re not just managing one game all the time. We’re trying to manage different games and different players within that.

“It’s a different situation now than it was last week. Does that maybe mean you need to lean on the squad a little bit more? Throughout the three games, yes, definitely, because I think three 90s in all players is a challenge sometimes. 

“Some players have found it very tough and going back to back from a Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday. But some are fit enough to do it. So there are loads of different things that go into the melting pot.”

Unlike last week, tonight’s fixture kicks off at 7.00 pm. Anyone who purchased iFollow passes for the original game should simply be able to tune in this evening.