Don’t rant and rave
After a disappointing result, particularly when you’ve conceded a late goal, the mood will be flat inside the dressing room. That can linger for 24 hours, but in the days that follow you should begin to look back at the game and recall the positive moments. It’s important the manager reminds you of all the good things you did rather than ranting and raving and speaks to individuals to ensure they keep their heads up.
Lead by example
One of the important parts of being a captain is to encourage and cajole your team-mates. There are always laughers and jokers in every squad – make sure they help you to lift the mood and get people smiling again. Players will read Twitter and newspapers and will be aware what people are saying about them. You need to respond to any criticism leveled at you after a game and get your mindset right before the next match.
There may be a temptation to train really hard in an effort to get back to winning ways but that’s not always the best approach. If games are thick and fast there’s very little time to do that and you run the risk of tiring players out or even injury. You need to focus all your efforts on recovering for the next game, and making sure the squad is tactically switched on.
Tinker at your peril
One result doesn’t mean you should necessarily change your formation or starting XI. You must have belief in the way you play and the players you’ve got at your disposal. Changing everything can confuse players and leave them angry and frustrated if they’re left out after one game. Stick with the system and players who have served you well. They’ll be desperate to put things right and will appreciate the trust of the manager.
Alan Shearer was speaking at the McDonald's Player Escort training camp in Lille after giving his advice to the youngsters walking out with the England team when they face Wales. For more information visit McDonalds.co.uk/football