Fleetwood Town head coach Scott Brown spoke to the media ahead of his sides Sky Bet League One clash against Derby County.
The Cod Army welcome the Rams to Highbury Stadium, and will play against each other for the first team in the Club's history.
With Town having picked up a draw in their last match against Cheltenham Town on Tuesday evening, Brown knows that his weekend will be a great chance for his squad to test themselves against a side who will be many people's favourites for promotion this campaign.
Here is what Scottt Brown had to say prior to the match.
On individual performers within the squad…
"There are also those who can play in many positions and CJ [Carl Johnston] is one of those players. You can play him at left-wing, right-wing, left-back, right-back, or centre midfield so when we are going into games, he gives you a bit of a headache because his understanding of the game is exceptional so to try and find that one position is quite tricky because he’s brilliant at them all.
“Jay Lynch has been brilliant, he great with his feet, is commanding, and it a proper professional as well. He’s in the gym early and is extremely hard working as he always wants to do more on the field. For me, its about how you look and treat people and he’s a proper athlete - that’s what we want.
“When I first spoke to Josh [Earl], he had always wanted to play as a left-centre half. His height helps us hugely and we’ve given him that opportunity. He’s had a lot of games in pre-season, and he did well in them, but we know there is more to come from Josh because he’s extremely good on the ball, calm, and can find a forward pass.
“I want my centre-halves to do that, he’s dominate in the air and he’s a good lad in the changing room and that ticks a lot of boxes for me. At the same time, it’s the winning mentality, the clean sheet mentality and he’s getting that now and for me, that’s a hard thing to get your head around as a young player.”
On the development of the squad in the last few weeks…
“It’s been hard to be fair because there have been a lot of games and everyone is in the same situation, even though there are a few teams who are now out of the cup, but it’s all about maintaining our form. We’ve been good defensively recently as we’ve defended as a unit and have made it hard for teams to have shots at us as well, so I’ve been quite pleased with that.
“We’ve worked hard in the pre-season and the players have been brilliant so far. We need to make sure we push up the league from the position we finished last season and, form-wise, we’ve done ok. We’ve done alright but showed some panic in a few games that haven’t gone our way, but that’s when we need to understand we need to be relaxed on the ball – it’s a learning curve for everybody.
“It’s still a young team and management staff and we need to focus on getting more points on the board if we want to maintain the defensive structure behind the ball, but we also want to bring the ball forwards as well. Now it’s about us looking forwards and getting into those attacking areas as well, getting more shots on target, and our strikers working the opposition goalkeepers.”
On Derby County…
“Derby are a huge club and they have an unbelievable following as well. We have watched a lot of videos of their games, and they play good football and they have players who are comfortable on the ball.
“For us, it’s about how to go and press them and how we are going to squeeze them because our game plan in every game is to squeeze teams and put pressure on them. It’s how we deal with them from goal-kicks, free-kicks and corners and with their understanding of their game plan.
“With any big team that comes to Highbury, we need to show that we the quality to match them and that is with the intensity off the ball as well as quality on the ball. It’s when we have the ball, how can we play, how can we be expansive and how can we create chances and score goals.
“We have to believe that we can win the game. For me, you have to go into every game believing that you can win the game.”
On the injuries in the squad…
“Carlos [Mendes Gomes] has a bit of a niggle in his hamstring so he’s probably going to be out for two or three weeks, but we are going to just take that one day-by-day and see how he feels to be perfectly honest. At the time, it looked like it would be a little bit longer, but we are hoping for about two-to-three weeks.
“He was only in the door for one day. He showed quality and composure on the ball for us and has good pace and understanding of the game. He’s also played at a higher level than we are at right now so he’s a proven player too.
“We’re taking Callum [Morton] day by day as it’s not looking that good at this moment in time, he’s had a few issues with his calves in the past so we don’t want to throw him into the deep end – I think he will probably miss out at the weekend. We’ll have to keep looking at this going into Everton and the game after that, but I don’t think he’ll be near the squad this week.”
On what’s to come from this Fleetwood team…
“Yes there is more to come. We can get fitter and work on our understanding of the game a little bit more but we can be much calmer on the ball. There were examples against Cheltenham in midweek and at the weekend against Morecambe where we made some rash decsionns and kicking the ball long until pressure.
“I’d like to see us get the ball down, make two or three passes and slow the game down, not to be a possession-based team, but to be on the front foot and looking forward in the final third. We didn’t do that as well on Tuesday night, but that might have been harder with their back five but then that’s where you need to get your foot on the ball and not be sloppy.”
The match against the Rams will kick-off at 3pm on Saturday 20 August, with tickets available to buy ONLINE, and in the ticket office at the stadium.
After picking up five points out of their first four league matches, the Cod Army will be looking to kick-on, and you being the 12th man could prove to be the difference.
Here is all your general sale ticket information:
Seating (Parkside and Highbury Stand)
Adults: £24 (Premium block D: £26)
Concessions/Under-25s: £19 (Premium block D: £21)
Under-16s: £8 (Premium block D: £9)
Standing (Memorial Stand)