With the first team doing so well, I thought I’d talk about how an unbeaten run can breed confidence in a team.When you’re winning games and staying unbeaten, you develop a good mentality.
As long as you start the game well, you’ve got a psychological edge on the opposition because they’re conscious of the fact that you haven’t been beaten yet.
The only time when it could become tricky is if you are so desperate to keep that run going at all costs. You may be drawing in the last five or ten minutes and not want to go for all three points because the unbeaten run may be lost.
Also, if you draw a few games, then you may look back at parts of the season and say actually we’d rather have won one and lost one rather than drawn two as you get more points.
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Once you lose a game, it’s very easy to slip into a losing mentality. When Brighton were in the Championship during my time at the club, we were in the lower half of the table playing the likes of West Ham and Leicester. We went into those games with the mindset of going there not to get beat.
We had loads of games in that season where we shouldn’t have got any points, but somehow managed to get a result. It was our great escape season, but I think with about ten games to go, we only needed five points.
There was a target of points at the start of the season and I think we were about five points behind it with nine games to go. However, we then went on a nine-match winless run and needed a result on the last day of the season to stay up.
Panic sets in if you’re on a losing run. We played Ipswich and went 1-0 down, but came back to draw 1-1 to stay up.
It will be interesting to see what happens if Albion do lose a game, because the most important thing then will be for the players to bounce back. If you’re getting roughly two points a game, then you’ll be there or thereabouts come the end of the season and that’s what they should aim for.