Graham Turner today urged his Shrewsbury Town players to put the fun back into their football to help drag them out of their worrying slump.
The Town boss suspects a run of only one win in ten games has left his squad wrought with anxiety.
Shrewsbury started the season adhering to Turner’s passing principles and picked up a notable 4-1 win over fallen giants Coventry City.
But Turner said the enjoyment seems to have gone out of his side’s play in recent weeks.
“My job is to take the anxiety away from the players,” said the Town boss.
“We’ve stopped passing the ball I can understand why with the results we’ve had. They have to express themselves as well as they were doing earlier in the season.
“When you look at some of the games and some of the teams we were playing against, we did put in some very good performances and we have got to get back to that.
“My emphasis with the players is ‘don’t forget to enjoy the game of football’ but I can understand that confidence has been hit by the run of results.
But I’ve got to encourage them to have the freedom to go out and express themselves.”
Turner revised his training ground schedule this week in a bid to tighten up at the back ahead of tomorrow’s home clash with attacking-minded Crewe.
He could be contemplating making further changes to his starting XI after several fringe players impressed in Tuesday’s reserve win at Oldham.
Young striker Tom Bradshaw was on target in the second-string outing but experienced winger Mark Wright was most likely to have advanced his cause for a rare first team start.
Turner added: “The reserves got a good result in midweek and that will give a few players who have been out of the side a boost, particularly senior ones like Mark Wright.
“I’ve looked at the training this week and there’s been a positive attitude. It’s been a reasonable week but now we’ve got to take that forward against Crewe.”