Nolan: Not My Ideal Role But I'm Happy to Do a Job There
Wednesday, 18th Dec 2019 17:40
Jon Nolan has admitted that the number 10 role, in which he has been cast in recent games, is not getting the best out of him in a Town shirt.
The midfielder said: “I wouldn’t say it is my ideal position because I don’t think I’m a natural number 10. I’d say I’m more of an eight, a box to box midfielder but I can see why the manager wants to put me in the number 10 role because I’ll run all day.
“I cover the distance every game but at number 10, ideally, you want a player in the team who’s passing the ball for fun. You want to get on the half-turn to then slip Nors and Kayden through.
“I could probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve been in that position.
"But I’m happy to do a job there. As a number 10 you’ve got to chip in with the goals but that’s where I think we’ve been getting sucked in.
“Playing the long ball, it’s like we’re hoping that the ball drops there to create chances instead of building through the thirds, which we have the players to do.”
Nolan emphasised that his is a purely personal view, adding: “It’s only my opinion. You look at our squad and we’re set up to play football more than we are to go long ball.
“We haven’t got a target man, an Akinfenwa, but if we did, yes, get it up to him and play off the big man.
“Nors and Kayden want the ball playing down the sides so that they can use their pace.
“They’re not target men, are they? We can do that as well to be honest but I just think, as a team and with the individual players that we have, we’re set up to play through the thirds. Most of our players are more comfortable with the ball on the floor, me included.”
Nolan’s comments will be of interest to supporters, many of whom will concur with his view, and the midfielder agrees the players need the fans to remain on side as the team head for Portsmouth on Saturday looking to claim their first win in five league games.
“As clichéd as it sounds, they are our 12th man, and I’m sure they will be there again in their numbers to support us on Saturday,” he said.
“I’m sure they will stick with us but it’s our performances that will decide because we’ve got to give them something to cheer about.”
Not only has Town’s recent run enabled leaders Wycombe to open up a seven-point lead at the top of the table, it has also seen several sides close the gap on them as the halfway stage of the campaign looms large.
With four games to be played between Saturday and January 1st, and depending on factors like results and injuries, it would be no surprise if manager Paul Lambert again turned to his squad rotation policy in order to keep as many players fresh.
Nolan added: “I don’t think players like the squad rotation policy – we all want to play – but obviously the gaffer’s there to make decisions. We’ve got a big squad and he’s got to utilise that really.”
Meanwhile, Nolan is delighted to report that the injury that saw him miss the entire pre-season programme is not affecting him in any way.
He said: “We get the stats after every game and I run the furthest in every game. But any player who misses pre-season takes a bit of time to get going.
“It’s not what anyone wants – you want to start the season flying – and I was no different. But I’m fully fit now, which is what matters.”
Photo: Action Images
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