Explaining that the new system will be adapted by the Under 21's and in The Academy, he said he believed that this was the formation he felt was best suited to the players at his disposal. “On Sunday we got far more balls into the box and probably created 10 really good chances,” he told the YEP. “In the 20 games I’ve been involved in here, we had more chances in that game than we’ve had for a long time (no arguments there Brian!) – and we scored four goals. That’s what I want my team to be about and that’s what we are about. People say that my teams only play this way or that way but that’s not true. I play whatever way suits the boys and this seems to suit. Paul Green can play central midfield for us and Tonge too. Lee Peltier could play right wing-back and Adam Drury or Aidy White could start on the left if we needed them to. It works. “The bottom line is that you can’t play in front of teams. You have to get in behind them and some of our balls from the back against Birmingham were excellent – great long passes and then some good, intricate play. That’s what people want to see and that’s how I want us to play.”
Tha manager confirmed that Sam Byram's return to fitness had enabled the change of system - and it was no surprise that Byram's confidence on the ball was for many fans a "stand-out" on Sunday. “At the start of the season I didn’t have Sam so I worked on a formula with the players I had, but this system seems to suit someone like Sam because he can get forward. He did that really well on Sunday.”
McDermott is keen to instill a winning mentality throughout the club - citing Mancherster Unityed's failure to hit top form too regularly last season - yet still managing to walk away with the league title. He has held lengthy discussions with his squad - highlighting the need for belief and conviction. and he was evidently less than impressed by the way the Under-21s surrendered 3-1 advantage on Tuesday. “We were 3-1 up and we got a 3-3 draw,” he said. “This is what I’m talking about – you should win that game and Neil will have spoken to the players about it afterwards. When we had our meeting last week, this is what I was trying to say. That game against Sheffield Wednesday should have been done and dusted. Football isn’t just about going out to play. You have to have a mentality where you’re going to win the game whether you play good, bad or indifferent. The outcome is always the same – you get a result. Successful teams do that. I watched Manchester United win the Premier League last season and I’d probably say that they played really well six or seven times. On the other occasions they got results. That’s what the best teams do. Burnley are doing it in our league at the moment. They went to Ipswich on Saturday with nothing in the game and they won 1-0. That’s what I call a winning mentality and that’s what I’m trying to create and foster.”
McDermott was also keen to praise the professionalism of certain players “What I’d say about Danny Pugh and Michael Brown is that they’ve been nothing less than excellent professionals, the way they’ve conducted themselves has been excellent. There’s a right way to conduct yourself and the alternative to the right way is the wrong way. That doesn’t work for me and they’re very much part of the squad. Everyone knows they’ve got a chance here I hope but you can only get 18 into your squad. It all comes down to having the right attitude and that has to be the way. There’s no negotiation on that."
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