Head Coach Simon Grayson spoke to the media ahead of his side’s Sky Bet League One clash against Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday afternoon.
Town will be looking to get back to winning ways at the weekend when they host The Chairboys and will want to put their narrow away loss against Ipswich Town behind them.
Here’s what the gaffer had to say in his pre-match press conference:
On Saturday’s opposition…
“They play a certain way, they’re hard-working and are effective when they get the ball into the box as they will ask questions of you. We’ve got to stand up and be counted as this will be a physical battle and will need to watch for second balls, but more importantly, we need to remember to play our game.
“If we can match everything that they want to throw at us and then play the football that we want to play, then we’ve got a good chance of winning the game but, they’ve got some effective players that Gareth [Ainsworth] can get a tune out of and keeps them working. They suffered last season, coming down from the Championship but they will be pushing to get back up this season.
“When they went up, I don’t think anyone expected them to do that, they didn’t fall by the wayside and that’s a credit to Gareth and his players, with the hunger that they had. They’ll have loved the life in the Championship and will have been disappointed by coming down, but they’ve not let that affect them so far this season.”
On the attributes of the squad…
“I’ve got a genuinely good bunch of players who will give everything for the badge on both Saturdays and Tuesdays, but, yet again, things just aren’t quite going our way. If we keep doing the same things, keep working to the same beliefs, and eradicate some small mistakes, we can be a very good team.
“I’ve been impressed with Jay [Matete] since pre-season. He went on loan to Grimsby at the end of last season and I didn’t see a lot of him until he came back to us for pre-season and caught my eye with his performances - hence why he started the season.
“As a manager, you try to find a winning formula and the young players sometimes need to come out of the team, but he has gone back into it after working extremely hard in training. In the last few games, he’s shown what a good player he is. He can handle the ball in tight situations and loves a tackle and is only 20 years old. If he keeps learning, there’s only one way his future is going to be.”
On being close to getting results…
“’Fine margins’ has been a common theme of the topics we’ve talked about so far this season. Being a yard on the wrong side of somebody cost us a goal at the weekend and stopped us from getting a point, that we deserved, against a team that’s favourites for the division. We went there and proved ourselves and felt that a point was all that we deserved on the day.
“You have to learn from those mistakes and, hopefully with this group, we will do that, and we will keep improving as we aren’t a million miles away from getting some really good results. We’ve got to make sure that we stop giving the opposition chances as that leads to us dropping points, but in terms of our general play, attitude, and desire, it has been where I want it to be, and these things do happen as we have a young group.
“I’m not making comparisons but when you look at Oxford last season, they went from the bottom part of the table all the way up to the play-offs. I’m not saying we are going to do that, but it just shows that there is plenty of time for us to rise up the table and get to where we want to be at the end – it’s a competitive division and we have to be at it every week.”