Caretaker Manager Gary Waddock says there’s been a positive reaction from the players in training this week and has called on the players to transfer that into a positive performance on Saturday.
Waddock, Svetoslav Todorov and Lee Harrison have been asked to take the team for the game following the departure of Kevin Bond last week.
And Waddock addressed the press on Thursday where he reiterated that he was only focussing on the job in hand, which was coming up against Joey Barton’s Fleetwood.
Here’s everything that was covered...
On the need for players fighting for places…
We need competition and obviously with the lads that have had knocks or missed games we’d like them out on the training ground but the players in general have been very good. We’ve worked really hard this week on things that we want to do for the weekend, so the attitude has been spot on.
On the players’ response to him taking temporary charge…
It’s been a challenging start to the season and everybody is disappointed for Kevin, it didn’t work out and the decision was made but the players have been very good out on the training ground. Not that they weren’t beforehand because they were but it’s a case of putting things in place that we want to put in place for the game at the weekend and they’ve responded to that.
Saturday is the only thing that counts though. They can do it out here [on the training ground] but we have to transfer that into the match. If they can transfer what they’ve been showing on the training ground into Saturday we will give ourselves a chance in the game, but we’re going up against a very good side.
On taking charge for Saturday’s game…
We’re all in this together. From the Chairman down to the supporters, we’re all in this together and we have to roll up our sleeves. It’s tough times but tough people come through spells like this so that’s what we’re looking for.
Everyone’s determined to put it right and in the short term we have to do that. The Chairman has asked me, Toddy and Lee to prepare the team for Saturday and we will do that to the best of our ability. Hopefully we can get a positive reaction this Saturday.
On if he’s had to lift the players…
It’s a ruthless business as we know. It’s very difficult, it’s challenging but the players have responded, so I think when things like that happen to managers and unfortunately it happened to Kevin, players think it’s a fresh start for them and everybody’s got an opportunity to show that they should be playing.
We need to get a result at the same time. We will put a team out for this particular game that we feel can get a result.
There’s no blame culture, no pointing of fingers or anything like that, we’re all in it together but all we’re asking is they transfer what they showed during the course of the week into the game on Saturday.
If they can do that it gives us a chance, but we’re all disappointed for what’s gone on and as you rightly said we have to move on quickly.
On Fleetwood’s start to the season…
They’ve had a terrific start to the season. We can pit out wits against a decent team at this level, we did that at Wycombe a few weeks ago and they are now sitting top of the table so if we can get anywhere near to what we’ve been doing on the training ground and in that performance [against Wycombe] we give ourselves a chance.
There’s no guarantee but we need everybody on side. I’ve been to Roots Hall a number of times as the opposition and it’s a difficult place to come to. Unfortunately for the last nine to ten months it’s been slightly easier, but we need to get back to being a very difficult and intimidating place to come to play your football.