Sven-Goran Eriksson has candidly looked back at a disappointing defeat to Birmingham on Saturday and insisted his side must to better in the last six games of the season.
After vowing to ‘talk and work’ following the 3-1 reverse, Sven told us: “All the players were in on Monday watching the video and talking.
“I spoke to them because at the Birmingham game and some games before that, not Bolton, I think we have to do better. We should do better.
“I think it’s very good when the players can see how they’ve behaved on the pitch and hopefully we will play better next time.
“At least the training was better on Monday than when we played on Saturday that’s for sure.
“I spoke in the dressing room as well and nobody liked that performance – we have to do better – simple as that.”
Eriksson also hinted at a lack of confidence in his side after passing up an opportunity to at least take a point from a struggling Birmingham team being reduced to 10-men for a large part of the second half.
He continued: “Well I think you need to change the mentality. If we can’t pass the ball as well as we have done in the past, we at least have to fight as much as the opponents fight.
“I don’t think we did that in the first half at Birmingham. All the long balls we put up, we didn’t fight to keep the ball up there.
“If it’s tiredness, it is not in the legs, that’s for sure. It must be higher up and I hope not because we are not on holiday yet. We still have a lot of work to do.
“If you play good football one week it’s no guarantee you’ll do it the weekend after. I think we have seen many examples of it.
“We have beaten Man United away, Tottenham recently, then we went to Birmingham and we played as we did and lost 3-1. We always try to prevent things like this happening, but unfortunately it happens.”
And rather than single anyone out for punishment following the loss, Sven insisted a team that wins together certainly lose together: “It’s collective failure, there were a lot of players involved in the two goals we conceded and we didn’t produce more in the last third, we just gave the ball away.”
But rather than radically shake-up the team by dropping half of them, the Manager is sticking to his principles and giving players additional chances to prove themselves.
Asked if he would consider youth or inexperienced players for the remaining games, Sven confirmed: “We will play the best possible team, maybe after Saturday we should change all of them, but of course you don’t do that you give them another chance.
“The important thing is that we as a collective change the mental approach to the game because we didn’t have that right on Saturday.
“We have had some of these games in the past as well and we are disappointed.
“Of course Birmingham are a good football team but if you don’t have the attitude you won’t have even a chance to try and win the game.
“I understand the difficulties when you go to say Bolton because every team will struggle there with the way they play football.
“But I don’t think Birmingham were aggressive – they didn’t even kick us on the legs! That’s why it’s disappointing, we should handle matches like that in totally another way than we did.”