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Crainey: I treat every game as if it was a cup final

6 January 2022

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Head Coach Stephen Crainey spoke to the media ahead of his side’s Sky Bet League One away clash against Doncaster Rovers on Thursday afternoon at Poolfoot Farm.

The Cods have had some time without games recently due to the number of injuries and Covid cases within the squad, which saw both the Wigan Athletic and Sunderland fixtures around New Year called off. Crainey has had the players in training to make sure they are ready for the next clash, which is at the Eco-Power Stadium this weekend.

Here's what Stephen had to say ahead of the game:

On the weekend’s game against Doncaster…

“I treat every game as if it was a cup final and that’s how the team is going to treat every game of football. It’s a big game, both sides will be going into it wanting to win and it will be a tough one as Doncaster are at home. We’ve watched their last few games and they’ve got some good players in their team, but so have we. Every game in League One is going to be tough but we are going into the game with the belief that we can win the game.

“I’ve played against Gary [McSheffrey] in my career a few times so it will be nice to see him and see how he’s enjoying his role there – I’m sure he’s enjoying it and he will be looking to win the game, just as we are looking to win as well. It will be a good encounter and one that we are looking to come out on top of.

“We’ll be doing everything we can to stay in this division, the application from the group since the day I took charge has been spot on and I’m sure that if they maintain that, we will stay in the league for next season. We’ve worked with the lads from the beginning of my interim charge, and they are starting to implement that into recent games, which is pleasing for me."

On the recent injuries and Covid cases…

“In terms of injuries and Covid, we still have 10 players missing, but we feel prepared for the Doncaster game. We’ve got some good work into the lads earlier on in the week, with some tactical work this afternoon so we are ready for the clash at the weekend.

“It’s tough but you have to go with the players who are available and fit that’s what we are doing leading into the Doncaster game. We’ve had some good time for preparation, we know it’s going to be a tough game as they will be scrapping for point – much like ourselves – but we’re hoping to come out on top at the weekend.”

On the recent James Hill transfer…

“James [Hill] has spent the last five years in the Academy here at Fleetwood, he’s progressed right through to the first-team, and I think that’s just a credit to the club and all the coaches that have worked with him. It just shows you the calibre of coaches we’ve got at the club and it’s also a credit to himself. He was unbelievable in training every day and now has an opportunity to express himself at the top end of the Championship – I’m sure he’ll be a success there.

“I’ve always maintained that we’ve got a good core of young players at the club, and we’ve now seen James move on. Obviously, we want to keep the best players at the club but there comes a time when larger clubs come in, with big fees, which you can’t knockback. There’s not just James at the club, there are a lot of good, young, and talented players here at Fleetwood.”

On the January transfer window…

“We are looking in the transfer market, obviously, the January window is now open, so we are like every club as we want to improve the squad. We’re on daily calls every morning so hopefully, we can get some new blood into the building. There are a few options all over the pitch and we are hoping that by the end of the window, we will have some new players at the club.

“It’s a waiting game, we are looking to strengthen but until someone has signed the dotted line, I can’t give you any more than that. With the injuries and the Covid cases at the moment, we want to keep everyone at the club, but we are looking to strengthen in areas, and we are looking to do that.”

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