Tactician Tis pulled off masterstroke
Firstly I would just like to say that Fleetwood seemed like the longest journey I have ever embarked on to play a game of football. I'm pretty sure that's not quite factually true, but it seemed never ending, even with the usual stop off to train at Lilleshall.
Secondly, last week's game was probably the best team performance I have been involved in since joining the club. We changed formation slightly to combat Fleetwood's strength of penetrative midfield runners through our back line.
It was a change that we had not really worked on in training, plus we were only told the morning of the game so it could be said that it was a risky decision to set up the way we did.
But, with the clear and concise way Tis explained it and the level of trust he has in us to execute his plan, I thought we were more than deserving of the three points.
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Many managers would not be brave enough to change the formation without at least a full week's preparation on the training field, but Tis has proved time and again that he is not afraid to make important decisions.
Although physically we did not work on the starting formation in the week leading up to the game, hours were put in from the management team with discussions and ideas going on between them long after us players had gone home.
We did manage to go a goal down, which is never normally the plan in any game, but Scot Bennett went up front and looked like Roy of The Rovers. That was something we definitely worked on in training.
Tis, being an extremely meticulous man, tries to give us as many options and plans as he can to try and prepare for any eventuality. Putting Scot up front, bringing on Danny Butterfield's quality with the ball and the fresh legs of David Wheeler helped us get the win.
Danny's signing will prove to be an absolute masterstroke, I am sure. He brings clear quality and bundles of experience. He has fitted into the dressing room perfectly, as though he has been here for years.
I have to say, I felt a little bit sorry for Saturday's opposing left-back when Dave came on. The last thing you want playing at full-back is a lightening-quick winger come on in the later stages of a game with fresh legs.
David, or Good Will Hunting as we like to call him for no other reason than having a degree and sounding like an intelligent lad (a highly unimaginative and uninspiring nickname I admit but we are just footballers!), came on and did fantastically well.
He offers us a great outlet going forward with his blistering pace but more importantly he works so hard for the team defensively. I have been very impressed with his attitude since his arrival at the club and with the terrific coaching at his disposal he will only get better.
Big Scot was moved up front and took his goals like a seasoned forward. He is a very talented player who is technically gifted and if he continues with his rich vein of form, I would not be surprised if he has a few more scouts from bigger clubs coming to run their eyes over him.
For someone so young, he has a very mature head on his shoulders and what I like most is how unassuming he is. He never complains, gets on with his job and then goes home to his family – a manager's dream.
Today's game is a very important one to the fans. I am sure it is the first game that most fans look for when the fixture list is released in July. We are all fully aware how important the game is but I think it is very important for us to remain focused on the game and not the occasion.
It is one of football's biggest cliché's but it could not be any more accurate. As a player, you have a responsibility to remain focused on your job for the team and manager. We cannot afford a player to lose his discipline and miss a game or two because he played the occasion.
That does not mean to say we go into every tackle with any less determination to win it but what it does mean is that we do it fairly and in keeping with the level of professionalism that we always demand from each other at this football club.
The same should not be said for you, the fans, though. I want you all to enjoy the day and the healthy rivalry between the two clubs. I want you to sing your hearts out like never before and stick by us no matter what because you never know where that can take us come the final whistle.