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Nicholson looks ahead to Portsmouth test

19 February 2018

Caretaker head coach Barry Nicholson has spoken ahead of Tuesday’s Sky Bet League One game against Portsmouth.

Nicholson will take charge of first team affairs along with David Lucas, starting with the game at Highbury on Tuesday evening.

On the last 48 hours and being asked to be caretaker…

“It’s very exciting for me, as the Chairman rang me on Saturday night and has given me the opportunity to take on the team short-term.

“On Sunday we were back to work as staff and as a group of players to prepare for the game against Portsmouth.

“It’s important we get a response from the players and get a win as soon as possible after our poor run but I feel we can get the players going.

“Hopefully we can get their confidence back and kick on from there.”

A message for the Cod Army…

“Stay with us and stick with the team.

“They’ll obviously be disappointed with recent results and the players understand that, so we need to try and put on a good performance.

“The crowd have stayed with us and got behind us. They were brilliant last season when we were going for promotion in the play-offs.

“We need that same support again and I’ll do my best, as well as the players to create momentum in our favour.

“At the end of the day we need everybody together. That’s what the Chairman’s message was over the weekend and as a whole club we need to stick together and move forward.”

On solidarity within the camp…

“From my point of view, I need to bring the group together and galvanise everybody after recent performances and take one game at a time.

“It really is an important part of the season for us with 14 games to play and 42 points up for grabs.

“We know we need to improve to get as many points on the board as we can.”

On facing Portsmouth on Tuesday…

“We are looking at stage as a 14 game season and there’s no point in dwelling on the past and what has happened in recent weeks.

“Now we need to move forward and it’s my job for the short term to look at Portsmouth, like we have done for every other team this season.

“We’ve studied them and looked at their strengths and weaknesses. I now need to put a team out there to try and hurt them as much as we can, and to get points on the board.”

On the messages to the players…

“I want the players to be confident and to go out there and express themselves.

“We still have to work hard from our set structure when we don’t have the ball and when we have the ball, let them be positive and go and hurt teams.

“That’s the way we have looked at it and I hope that’s the way the players look at it.

“It’s important we get the crowd behind us and be solid at the same time. I hope they can take this into the match.”

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