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DIFFERENT WAYS ON WINNING MATCHES

8 April 2014

United manager Russ Wilcox remains willing to experiment with his side as he seeks to navigate a way to securing promotion out of League Two this season.

The 50-year-old shuffled his pack with his starting XI for Saturday’s 1-0 win over Torquay United at Plainmoor, selecting both the recalled Michael Collins and Paul Hayes as he tweaked his set-up.

Explaining his initial selection, Wilcox told The Iron Player: “I just wanted quality in the team.

“It just jumped out at me from the squad I’ve got to choose from. I tinkered a little bit with the system; did it work? I’m not quite sure.

“The players have to make it work as well and I thought Torquay looked the hungrier team in the first half. For me, their trophy [avoiding relegation] is a lot bigger than ours.

“They looked to be on the front foot, and worked a little bit harder than we did – which I’ve not had to say many times this season. That’s the key to our success. We’ve got quality in there, but you need to work hard.

Despite going into the interval a goal to the good, the Hemsworth-born manager opted to change things for the second period by withdrawing Collins in favour of Hakeeb Adelakun, and Wilcox added: “We went back to a more familiar 4-4-2 second half as we had to get in behind them a little bit more, and get some pace through the middle of the pitch.

“You have to say it worked, because we won the football match. At this moment in time it’s just finding different ways to win matches at the business end of the season.

“You’ve got to be proactive instead of reactive with the substitutions. I’ve tried to do that all along, and it’s not always going to work for me or work for the group.

“You have to make decisions at the time, and we’ve come away with the win.”

See much more from Russ Wilcox, Sam Slocombe and Sam Winnall on The Iron Player.

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