Tactics rethink needed at Tivvy
A CHANGE of approach may be needed to drag Tiverton Town out of their poor recent run of results, according to manager Mark Saunders.
The Tiverton Town boss has been left contemplating changes to the way his side sets up after watching the Yellows surrender a 1-0 lead at home to Bishops Cleeve in their last league match to draw 1-1.
The poor result, against a side second from bottom in the table, was partly put down to the abysmal pitch at Ladysmead which saw Tiverton, who had their match away at Yate Town on Saturday postponed, struggle to play their normal passing game.
And with the playing surface not likely to be much better for the visit of North Leigh on Saturday, Saunders admits a subtle change might be needed.
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"We might have to adapt it a little bit accordingly, but I want us to carry on playing football, said Saunders.
"It depends on the pitch really, because the last game (at Ladysmead) we gave the ball away in our half too cheaply, by trying to play the passing game that we had been playing early on in the season.
"The pitch was so bobbly – it's knackered this year. It is ridiculous because of the weather we have had.
"But you have got to be adaptable and that is down to the players.
"They don't mean to make mistakes, but sides come down to us and they just stick balls in behind us and we struggle to get out at times.
"I want us to play football but in their final third, rather than over-playing in our third.
Searching for answers to the poor recent run of results, which has seen Tiverton go without a win since a 2-0 victory over Wimborne on November 17, Saunders added:
"The confidence has seemed to have gone out of a lot of the guys as well, which I don't know why because we are up there., albeit behind first and second by quite a few points, but we are in the pack.
"If we can put in a run of games together and stay in the play-offs then that will be a good achievement for the lads.
"We are trying different things, trying to get things back on track, but it is proving a little difficult at the moment. Maybe it is that we are just having our spell at the minute.
"Every team has a spell through a season where they have a little bit of a blip. Perhaps it is that we are just having ours now and hopefully we can come good again sooner rather than later."
The game against North Leigh on Saturday represents a good opportunity for Tivvy to end their winless streak. The Oxfordshire side have won just one of their last 11 league games and Saunders says it is a match Tivvy should be targeting for three points.
"Any home game you want to be picking up three points," he said. "If you can win your home games and draw your away games, that is not bad is it?
"But we have got to get back to winning ways, starting on Saturday.
"It won't be easy against them (North Leigh). It will probably suit them with the pitches being heavy again. They have got some big, strong lads in their team."