Paul: Better To Come

Paul Goddard admits there is still more to come from the players as they adjust to life in the first division.

"We have been patchy, certainly not as good as we like, and the performance and result at Gillingham was obviously very disappointing.

"In many ways the performance against Millwall at home was disappointing as well, especially in the second half - we just couldn't get our game together, but all credit to Millwall who played very well.

"But we certainly weren't on top of our game, and we were grateful to David James for a point at the end of the day.

"We have got a lot of new players, a lot of players who are trying to adjust to this three up front with young Neil Mellor, Jermain, and David - and it has taken a while to work it out.

"I think the system suits some of the players we have got in the side but it doesn't suit others - that has shown in the performances.

"But the size of the squad is the exact reason; there aren't too many options and we just feel at this time that it is the best option.

"Whenever we have played it we have caused the opposition problems but the system causes us problems as well.

"At the right time with the right personnel it is okay; it is a fine balancing act and we can get better playing that way.

"We can get better at playing 4-4-2 as well, so there is room for improvement and we are obviously hoping with Steve training again and Michael and Don playing we can improve greatly."

At least there is a breather from the hectic schedule before the next match against Norwich - Trevor Brooking's penultimate match in charge.

It is not the case, as has been reported, however, that Alan Pardew's arrival at the club has been delayed by a week.

The court ruling always said that he could not start until 18th October and, as that is a match day, Trevor will take that game against Burnley and Alan, though he will be present at the match, will not start until after then - with the rearranged game against Nottingham Forest the following midweek his first.

But first there is the luxury of a weekend without football, after what Paul admits has been a nonstop period.

"The games are coming in fast and furious and it gives you little time to prepare between them," he says, "because you are recovering - and obviously working with a very small squad makes it particularly difficult.

"There have been a couple of long journeys as well which means you get back in the early hours of the morning.

"It has been a real, real test, though I think we all knew that it was going to be like this when we saw the fixtures.

"But until you get stuck into it you don't realise how much pressure it puts on you.

"You are obviously weighing up the energy levels of the players all the time and we have certainly done a lot of preparation on the video side because a lot of the teams we are playing have a lot of players we are unaware of in a way.

"So we have had to do some extra work with that and Trevor has been excellent with that and has prepared the players very well with what they have to face."