Although Macclesfield Blues go into the second half of the season rooted at the bottom of the National League 1 table, all hope is not yet lost. The Blues are only currently 3 wins away from safety, and with 14 remaining games to turn the season around, Head Coach, Giles Heagerty, is confident that Macclesfield Blues have the squad and the talent to secure their position in this ultra-competitive league. But what do the Blues have to do to turn things around? Do they have to change their playing style to rescue their season, or do they simply have to finesses what they already have and make incremental changes to secure their league status? Here’s what Giles had to say.
What will you have to do differently during the second half of the season to turn things around?
“We have to start the second half of the season with the mentality that every game from here on in is a Cup Final. We’re currently at the bottom of the table, but we know we’ve got some very winnable games coming up. What we have to do is make sure we take those opportunities. We have to get our mentality right as I said last week. We can’t go into games expecting things to happen: that’s just not the way it works. We have to make sure we are mentally ready every week to perform for the full 80 minutes.”
“In order to get to that place the players are going to have to be honest with themselves and honest with me. If they don’t feel mentally right before a game because they’re coming in off the back of a tough game the week before, then they need to step off. We’ve got a very good squad that will allow us to do that.”
The other thing that needs to change is that everybody has got to be in the fight. They have to be fully committed to the cause. There will always be things going on outside of rugby, by that I mean things like work and family commitments, but we really can’t afford to be distracted from the task at hand. We have to make sure everyone is on it mentally and everyone is prepared to do whatever it takes to pull us away from the foot of the table.”
Are wholesale changes needed in the Blues’ playing style in the second half of the season, or is it more a matter of making marginal gains week on week?
“I don’t think we need to change the way we play. It’s very easy to look at the league position and say, well they’re at the bottom of the table, so they must be a poor team. The simple fact is, we’re not. We’ve scored lots of tries as proof of that. Undoubtedly there are areas of our game we need to improve, but you could say the same thing about every team we’ve played – even Hartpury.”
“I think the style of rugby we play is good; we just need to be more consistent in delivering it. It’s all boils down to producing the top 2 inches as I said last week. If we can deliver incremental improvements each week in very specific aspects of our game, then I think we’ll be alright.”