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Interviews

Crainey: I’m asking the players to go to places they have never been before

21 April 2022

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Head Coach Stephen Crainey sat down with the press on Thursday afternoon ahead of his side’s Sky Bet League One fixture against AFC Wimbledon at Highbury.

The Cods are carrying on their run in to the end of the season at the weekend when they welcome the Wombles to Highbury for a massive game, in regard to both teams’ seasons and the finishing positions in the league, and Crainey will be pushing both his players and the fans to work together to get the win on the day.

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

On Saturday’s match-up…

“We are in the relegation zone, and we need to win games of football, Saturday is a massive game for us and we know that Wimbledon will be coming up to Fleetwood wanting to win the game.

"It was a real battling performance against Gillingham, so we are going to need the same against Wimbledon on Saturday. Hopefully, we can come out of it on the right end of the result and pick up all three points.

“It’s going to be an exciting match, with both teams looking to win it, and we will be hoping to come away with all three points. I’m asking the players to go to places they have never been before and that’s going to be through sheer work rate. They are going to do that for me, I know that.”

On what he expects from the players…

“The game before Gillingham was Oxford and we weren’t at the races for the first 15-20 minutes, I’ll admit that, but for the hour to 70 minutes after that, we had a real intensity, and the squad were doing the right things – that was there against Gillingham, and we were just unlucky not to create anything at the top end of the pitch to get that goal we needed.

“This is not a rallying cry, I ask them to do this anyway in training anyway, it’s not like it’s anything new to the group. They do that for me not only in games but in training as well and Saturday should be no different. We want to show the same mentality we have been doing over the last two games and we’ve got to dig deep and get the result.”

On the positive effect of the crowd at Highbury…

“The crowd are going to be massive, I’m sure the crowd appreciated the efforts shown in that last hour against Oxford as they stayed with the group right until the end, which was really pleasing to see. The fans that travelled to Gillingham got right behind the group and Saturday is looking like it’s going to be a sell-out, so we are going to have to get everyone behind the group once again.

“I keep saying it every week, we need to start the game properly to get the fans behind us as we want them on the edge of their seats and that’s what we are looking to do. I have every confidence that we are going to avoid relegation and that run until the end continues Saturday against Wimbledon. We are looking to win the game and there’s nothing else in our minds.”

On the injuries in the squad…

“Hopefully we are going to hear something back regarding Paddy [Lane] today. Looking back on the incident, me, and Neil [Harris] spoke after the game and we both said that it was an old school challenge with both players going in full-blooded to try and win the ball so I’m hoping we get the green light and Paddy is available for selection, but we are not sure whether he will be fit anyway.

“He’s still feeling the ill effects of that challenge, so we’ll leave it another 24 hours to see where he is at but, he is looking doubtful. Tom [Clarke] took a big knock to his head against Oxford and he was slightly concussed so we need to follow protocols regarding that we’ll leave that until the last minute and that will be down to the medical staff to keep me updated on that.

“It’s looking like we are going to have to go with the same squad we had at Gillingham. Ged [Garner]’s probably not going to be available for the game so we are slightly disappointed about that, but we will keep assessing him every day and hopefully, he can be back before the end of the season. At the moment though, we are having to take it day by day.”


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