Guy: Time’s right for Yas step back

Yassin Moutaouakil Picture: Joe Pepler
Yassin Moutaouakil Picture: Joe Pepler

Guy Whittingham has revealed he felt the time was right to take Yassin Moutaouakil out of his starting line-up.

The Frenchman has not played in the Blues’ past two matches and Joe Devera is expected to start ahead of him against Scunthorpe today.

Whittingham had previously stood by his right-back after last month’s costly mistake against Plymouth, insisting he was his first-choice for that role.

Now he finds himself out of the frame, instead among the substitutes.

Devera and East alternated right-back duties for Newport County and then AFC Wimbledon – games that ended in defeats.

But the Blues boss feels Moutaouakil must be taken out of the team at present for his own good.

Whittingham said: ‘I just think Yassin needs a bit of a step back at the moment.

‘He has done very well for us, he has always been a decent defender and as everybody knows can be Mr Angry.

‘That’s one of the things we have to try to work with and make sure he doesn’t become so angry that he gets sent off more.

‘He wants to do well all the time, he wants to improve, he wants to be the best full-back in the league, and sometimes he gets a bit intense with that.

‘That takes over his football a little bit instead of actually thinking “Yas, you are doing very well. You don’t have to keep thinking you could do better, you could do better”.

‘I think he is so eager to do well that he puts himself under that amount of pressure.

‘You look at the last two games – he’s not been in and we have conceded seven goals so, obviously, you are going to say “hang on a minute, you are missing Yassin”.

‘But we know day in, day out in training what he’s like and just think at the moment it is probably right that he sits back a bit.

‘Who knows when he will come back, there is no time limit.

‘He doesn’t have to change his mindset, he’s a really good kid.

‘He wants to do the best he can all the time and it’s my decision for him to sit out for a couple of games.’

Moutaouakil has made 14 appearances this season in all competitions, weighing in with three assists.

Yet his temperament saw him given a straight red card against Burton in September.

His mistake at Plymouth was also crucial – giving away a goal in the 1-1 draw, while he received criticism for his display at Stevenage in his most recent outing.

Whittingham added: ‘With all goals you can pin down to one mistake that wasn’t handled, two mistakes or three mistakes.

‘Unless there is an obvious one, it is never one person’s fault ultimately.

‘This isn’t a personal crusade against Yassin but I think at Stevenage he got his positioning wrong at one stage then something else happened, then something else happened.’