NOTTS COUNTY: Stead frustrated by Magpies’ drop in form
Striker Jon Stead says he’s been as frustrated as anyone by Notts County’s inconsistent form and that this weekend’s game with Yeovil is a ‘must win’ encounter.
County are without a win in four league and cup games, most recently falling 2-0 at home to Plymouth Argyle on Sunday.
And Stead is keen to see the good form return as soon as possible.
He said: “Obviously it’s disappointing.
“We felt we were starting to get some stability to our performances and the results were showing that as well.
“True to form really, we’ve dropped off again. It’s very disappointing but we’re still very confident in what we’re doing.
“We’re still working hard to do the right things on the pitch and do what the manager wants. We have to turn it around.
“It’s a massive game against Yeovil and it’s one we expect to go and win.
“We need to work out how to do that because our performances have been okay but we need to get the results.”
Stead also highlighted the importance of a steady starting XI for County if they are to progress up the table.
“Players become comfortable in their positions when they’ve been playing around the same players and been playing the same system and working on it,” he said.
“That would help us as players, but it’s difficult for the manager because when he’s playing players in position or out of position, if they’re not performing at times then obviously he has to look to change that.
“When he’s got such a big squad, he has to utilise it as best he can.
“They’re the decisions he has to make, and I’m sure they are difficult ones.
“As far as the players are concerned, we want to play as a settled team. If you’re in that team, that’s alright; if you’re not, then you want to work your way into it. You can look at both sides of it.
“But it’s not an easy choice when there are individual mistakes and things are happening that are costing us games.
“The manager would have everybody criticising if he didn’t look to change it.
“It’s a tough one. But it’s one we need to work on with more consistent play across the board from all the players, then it will make that job easier.”
Stead has netted four times in 15 appearances this season and is second top scorer behind midfielder Liam Noble.
But despite having featured more times than anyone else in the County squad, he feels frustrated at not having had more action recently.
He said: “I’ve been frustrated as much as anybody about not playing as much.
“But you’ve got to do the work on the training pitch and when you get that opportunity, try to stay in the team.
“It’s probably a lot harder for some of the lads who have not even been anywhere near the squad. For those lads, I feel for because it’s difficult.
“When they see results aren’t going as well as they should be doing on the pitch, they want to be thinking, ‘hang on a minute, this is my chance to come in and show what I can do’.
“A lot of them aren’t given that opportunity because we’ve got so many players.
“I think a few will still be looking to get out on loan but it’s got to be right for the players and they’ve got to be comfortable with it.
“I want to play up top, that’s where I expected to be playing when I came to the club.
“But things have changed. The system we’re playing, the only way I can get into the team is to play that deeper role.
“And that’s what the manager wants because he wants that three in midfield which he sees as being a bit stronger. That’s the way it is.
“The manager spoke to me about it. He knows that’s not my preferred position but to try to get me into the team.
“It’s a bit of a sacrifice for me, for where I want to play, but if it’s doing a job and I can get that defensive side of it right, which is the bit that I struggle with, then I can play.
“I scored two in two and then didn’t play the next game, so that’s obviously disappointing but I’ve been doing all I can.
“I’ll keep working hard on the training ground and every chance I get, show him what I can do.