Whittingham ready to adapt

Jake Jervis in action against Preston. Picture: Allan Hutchings (124044-682)
Jake Jervis in action against Preston. Picture: Allan Hutchings (124044-682)

Guy Whittingham has hinted he is prepared to adapt his formation over the Christmas period.

The caretaker Blues boss opted to utilise a three-man strikeforce in the 0-0 draw with Preston at the weekend.

Leading goalscorer Izale McLeod was deployed in a wide position for much of the game.

The system also gave Scott Allan more freedom to attack, while Jake Jervis led the line as the centre forward – although he and McLeod interchanged at times.

But Whittingham insists it is not set in stone that he will use a similar set-up at Hartlepool this weekend – or for the rest of the festive period.

And he defended the formation in response to suggestions from some supporters it is too defensive.

He explained: ‘It depends. We will choose the team and the players to suit the game.

‘People can talk about formations but it’s the personnel that counts.

‘If you’ve got Jake Jervis, Scott Allan and Izale McLeod in it, that’s an attacking formation.

‘That’s two goalscorers and a creative player in there.

‘We tried to keep it like that throughout the game.

‘We changed it a couple of times but I felt towards the end there was enough to put pressure on Preston.’

Asked if he had considered going to a straight 4-4-2 – a formation that many supporters favour – Whittingham replied: ‘I thought something would come from us as it was but it didn’t quite happen.’

And while Whittingham has yet to taste victory since taking the reins from Michael Appleton, he believes the squad’s work ethic will soon pay off as they bid to collect some welcome points over the Christmas period.

He said: ‘The players understand where we are coming from in terms of team ethic.

‘We were off the back of an awful run.

‘We needed to stop that and get some results – and we’ve got three draws now.

‘Now we need to turn some of those draws into wins and that will get us moving in the right direction.’