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Crainey: I bit the Chairman’s hand off as it was a no-brainer

23 December 2021


Crainey: I bit the Chairman’s hand off as it was a no-brainer

23 December 2021

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Stephen Crainey spoke to the media for the first time since being named Head Coach as he previewed his side’s home clash against Shrewsbury Town on Boxing Day.

Crainey – who was permanently put in charge of the Cods on Tuesday afternoon until the end of the season – has seen his side pick up form in recent weeks as he has led them to a three-game unbeaten streak, with two wins and two clean sheets in that time.

Here’s what Stephen had to say in his interview:

On getting the Head Coach role permanently…

“I’m pleased that the Chairman has put his faith in me, I’ve enjoyed this initial short phase that he’s had me in temporary charge, but to then give me until the end of the season, I’m really pleased. I’m delighted and hopefully, we can start winning some games, starting on Boxing Day.

“It’s been a hectic two or three weeks, but it’s a time that I’ve really enjoyed. In the Under-23s, it’s more about development and getting them into winning habits, but it's real now as there are jobs at stake so it’s nice to have that pressure, it’s something that I enjoy and hopefully, we can thrive off it moving forward.

“He [Andy Pilley] just said that he was pleased with the initial response I had whilst I was in interim charge and he wanted to give me the opportunity to lead the group to the end of the season. I bit the Chairman’s hand off as it was a no-brainer. I’m grateful for him to give me the opportunity to do that and hopefully, I can pay him back by getting some wins on the pitch."

On Sunday’s opposition…

“The Christmas period is crucial in any league and League One is no different. We’ve got a tough game against Shrewsbury on Boxing Day, which is then followed up by two away days against Wigan and Sunderland. They are all games we are looking forward to, but we can’t look past Shrewsbury on Sunday.

“We treat every game the same as we want to win every one we play in, starting with Shrewsbury on Boxing Day. It’s one that we are looking forward too but we know it’s one that is going to be a real battle to get the points, as is every game in the league – we will be prepared for it.

“Where we are in the table, it’s crucial that we start winning some games. In the last three games, we’ve won two and drawn one so I’m hoping we can back that up on Boxing Day against Shrewsbury with another three points. We want to prepare well and play the way we want to on the day, with a bit of look at the same time, and get the three points."

On the current Covid situation…

“We need to be tested daily now as that is protocol throughout the football league, but that could make it hard to plan as you could get some news from the medical team which may alter plans.

“It’s paramount that the player's safety is taken seriously so once we get the tests results, we will be testing ahead of training once again tomorrow, and we are wishing for another clean bill of health.

“It’s not nice times for everyone, but it’s something that needs to be dealt with and something that we all need to be adaptable towards. We are dictated by league officials so we can only take it day-by-day and be guided by our medical team as to what we do moving forwards."

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