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Interviews

Crainey: Every game from now on is a cup final

13 April 2022

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Head Coach Stephen Crainey spoke to the press on Wednesday afternoon ahead of his side’s Good Friday clash against Oxford United at Highbury.

The Cods are set for a packed fixture schedule as the end of the season quickly approaches, starting with a home clash against The U’s on Good Friday. Town will be looking to get back to winning ways in the game, to pick up some valuable points for the run-in, after a narrow loss to Accrington Stanley last time out.

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

On Friday’s opposition…

“It will be a tough game as they are pushing for the play-offs so we will need to be on our toes. We’ve prepped today and we will do the same tomorrow so we will be ready for the game come Friday. I’m going to pick a team that I think can hurt Oxford and push towards our strengths as well as we are wanting to win the game and that’s what we are aiming to do.

“They are a good side who play good football and can be a threat in the final third as they can score a lot of goals so we need to be ready for that, but at the same time, I feel that we can hurt them at the other end of the pitch. We need to get the game plan and the balance right, on and off the ball, and if we do that, we can get the points we need.

“Every game is going to be vital, so we’ll need every single person, whether they are a youth player or a senior player, we are going to need everyone and that starts on Friday. I’m going to pick teams to win games of football, that may be a mixed blend, but I need to get that balance right so hopefully, I can do that for the Oxford game.”

On what he’s focused on…

“My full focus is keeping this club in League One, where it deserves to be. From the staff who work here to the people who run it, from the coaches to the cleaners and the catering staff, we all want to be in League One next season and that is our main remit – we want to start with three points on Friday. Every game from now on is a cup final, we need to be at it from now until the end of the season, and I think this group can do that.

“The group is positive and so am I and we will need to believe if we are to go into the rest of the games looking for wins. We need points and hopefully, they can start coming in on Friday when we face Oxford. We are under no illusions that it is going to be a tough match, but it will be one that we are ready for.

“I’ve not thought about my future, my focus is on tomorrow’s training session, never mind the next game, as we want to get the tactics right for the game and hopefully the lads can implement them. We are looking forward to the upcoming games, we are prepped for it, and we will be looking for three points.”

On the squad going into the game…

“With the way he’s [Ged Garner] gone down in the [Accrington Stanley] game, it doesn’t look great but we are still waiting on the scan results so we will wait on and see what they say - fingers crossed that he can still play a part this season. Once we get the scan results, it will tell us more about the injury. He’s a bit tender in his hamstring, so we know it is that but to what extent, we don’t know.

“It’s a great chance for Kieran [O’Hara] because Alex [Cairns] is out for the Oxford game so it’s a chance for him to stake his claim and stay in the team. The goalkeeping situation is the same as it is in every other position, whatever team I pick, it’s up to them to keep hold of their jersey for the rest of the games.”


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