'Sometimes less is more' - Holy on Town's style change
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com
Ipswich Town goalkeeper Tomas Holy believes the joy which a more direct style of play has brought in recent games is proof that 'sometimes less is more'.
The Blues spent the first half of the season steadfastly sticking to manager Paul Lambert's passing principles, always attempting to play their way out the back, but that obsession with possession often looked ponderous and predictable.
It's been noticeable how much more direct they've been over the last two games though, the approach making Town look a much better side in the goalless home draw with Oxford United and 1-0 win at Hull City.
"In my opinion I think it was probably one of the best performances in my time at Ipswich," said Holy, reflecting on the latter.
"I said on my Facebook page that we didn't have the most possession, but, in my opinion, I think we had the game under even more control.
"We didn't over keep the ball unnecessarily, we were very effective and very direct going forwards and we were very disciplined and very responsible in defence.
"Every single one of the boys did his bit in the game and that's why we were a success. We defended as one man, one team. Going forwards the boys were a danger.
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"The football from us was very simple, but I think that was the key. Sometimes less is more."
It was a rare win against one of League One's leading sides and cut the gap on the play-off places to four points heading into big games against sixth-place Doncaster (home, tomorrow) and seventh-place Accrington Stanley (away, next Tuesday).
"It raises the morale," said Holy. "Now we finally know we can beat anyone. I can't see any reason why we can't keep this up. Now we have, in my opinion, the two most important games of the season. If we get, I don't know, four, or in the best case, six points, we are back in the mix.
"Like I said, if we keep doing what we've been doing the last two games... Guys, there is no reason why we couldn't get all six points."
The return to the side of no-nonsense centre-back duo James Wilson and Toto Nsiala has played a part in the more direct approach, as has the return to fitness of physical front man James Norwood.
"It depends on a lot of details," admitted Holy, when asked more about the style switch. "It's about what the opponent lets you do, whether you have enough time to play. It's whether the conditions are good enough for playing out of the goal. Like I said, sometimes less is more. The further away the ball is kept from out goal, the less chance it's going to end up in our net.
"It was the Peterborough game, where the club wasn't in good condition, where we made our football simpler. It suits us a little bit more.
"Sometimes you have to play long ball, sometimes you have to keep it on the floor. I was told many, many years ago by a coach that you cannot play all game on the floor and you cannot play all game in the air. It depends on situations.
"But definitely we've been following instructions from the manager. And one of those instructions was to make the footballer simpler at the back."
On playing behind Wilson and Nsiala, Holy said: "I feel safe. All credit to Mark (McGuinness) and Woolfy (Luke Woolfenden), I feel safe behind them as well.
"But maybe Willo and Toto are a little bit more experienced then the other two guys. Woolfy and Mark have many, many years in front of them still.
"Behind Toto and Willo I feel safe, so my confidence is going up, and because of my confidence I can affect the boys in front of me. We affect each other. I think it works."
Asked if he was pleased with his own form, Holy said: "I am. Honestly, I am. Especially with Saturday's game. On Tuesday, yeah, I had what I would call 'black outs' with my goal kicks! I think there were, I don't know, three or four kicks in a row that I kicked really bad, but the rest of the game I felt really good. I felt confident. Hopefully I will show it tomorrow if I am picked in the starting 11. Hopefully I will keep this going.
"I'm trying to work on my kicks every day. Alright, I'm not going to lie! Not every day, because sometimes I feel stiff after games, but on the right days I work on it. I'm trying to work on it whenever I can because it's something I need to work on. Everybody has seen it before. Confidence plays its part.
"Honestly though, I am quite happy with my last performances and it doesn't happen too many times."
With Town having now kept three clean sheets in a row, Holy added: "I think my clean sheet record is from last season (five in a row). That's the record from my football career and that's the record I want to beat right now."