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NATHAN JONES ON THE FIXTURES OVER THE CHRISTMAS PERIOD

21 December 2017

Town boss Nathan Jones plans on using the depth of his squad over Christmas as his side play four Sky Bet League Two fixtures in a ten-day period.

With that in mind, the gaffer doesn't believe making changes to his side will weaken it, it just changes the characteristics of the side.

He said: "I don't envisage the same team that starts on Saturday, finishing the game against Lincoln and playing all the minutes.

"If we want to maintain energy levels and quality levels we are going to have to use the squad. We want to be as strong as we possibly can.

"We can make changes that give us different characteristics rather than weaken characteristics. The squad will get tested over the Christmas period, I am sure a lot of squads will."

Jones has also said the players will be training on Christmas Day in preparation for their Boxing Day fixture against Swindon Town, as he wasn't impressed with the performance his side gave in last season's 1-0 home defeat against Colchester United.

"A lot of things happened at Christmas last year, and not to give you too many headlines we gave them Christmas Day off and we gave a very sluggish performance against Colchester on Boxing Day," he continued.

"That isn't punishment or anything. I have been a manager on two Christmas Days at two different clubs and I have given both of them Christmas Day off and I have lost and drawn and I want to change that.

"It's such an important period for everyone regardless of where you are in the table. If that's getting yourself into the play-offs, to get yourself off the bottom or if you're at the top to maintain that.

"It's such an important period because with three or four games in such quick succession, a lot of things can change."

The Welshman also thinks his side are understanding of the situation, as he'd rather there not be too much of an alteration to the usual training schedule.

Jones said: "As a player I always trained on Christmas Day regardless of whether I was in or not, so I never felt my Boxing Day performances were anything less than right at it. Sometimes it's a psychological one.

"I am a big one on family and Christmas is an important time of year, the classic quote is 'we get paid for what we don't do at Christmas'.

"I have got a good group, I have got no problem with them over indulging, just sometimes when you don't do too much in between games, sometimes you don't start on the front foot and we want to do that."


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