Writer: Mike Field
Date:Tuesday September 15 2009
Stephen Warnock has said he was absolutely delighted with his debut against Blues last weekend and he loved the spirit amongst the players.
As seems to be the overriding talking point, well outside of the derby win obviously, from the debut of the three new signings, even Warnock has commented how the constant communication through the team - led by him, Dunne and Collins - allowed them to settle right in and find their feet quickly.
Speaking to the Mirror, Warnock admitted that they only found out shortly before kick off that they would all be making their first appearances on the pitch but said the day couldn't have gone any better given the fact we kept a clean sheet.
'It's terrific to start with a win and a clean sheet in a local derby away from home - there's no better feeling for a defender.
'We've only been training together for a few days and I think we've gelled together very quickly. It looked good straight away and there was plenty of talking between the back four, which is what you need - and the result speaks for itself.'
Current captain, Stiliyan Petrov has equally made comments about the organisational benefits that these three have brought to the team and admitted it's a skill we lost within the team once we lost Laursen in the centre of the defence.
It's a big skill to lose, communication is key on the pitch and you need people who will bark orders and keep everyone focused.
Warnock, certainly appreciates that and adds:
'At the back you've got to talk - because if you don't, then you are not going to get anywhere in this league.'
Our season is looking far more promising than it did when it began. There's plenty of work still to do, but the signs are at least looking positive now we appear to have a backbone in defence again.
If our attacking players can keep on form and we can learn to break teams down when Plan A doesn't work, then whilst Top 4 may still be beyond us we could be looking at another decent Top 6 finish.
More than anything though at least with the strengthening we've seen, we won't suffer (everything else aside) a capitulation of last season's February run.
That would certainly do me.
Date:Tuesday September 15 2009
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