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Crainey: I’m hoping the fans can push us over the line on Saturday

17 March 2022

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Head Coach Stephen Crainey sat down with the press on Thursday afternoon and previewed his side’s league fixture against Doncaster Rovers at Highbury.

Town are back at home this weekend and they will be in search of three vital points to take into the international break to keep moods high going into the last stretch of the season. Crainey also spoke about the recent Northern Ireland senior callup for Paddy Lane and how proud he is of the player and person he’s becoming.

Here’s what Stephen had to say:

On recent form and the game on Saturday…

“They are a good side, Doncaster, and we know it’s going to be a tough game as there is no easy games in League One. It’ll be a test but, with the home fans back, I’m hoping they can push us over the line. I think wins are just around the corner, I believe that, and the group believes as well. We just need to go and get those wins now.

“We need to be at it from the word go on Saturday as Doncaster are fighting for their lives at the same time so it’s going to be tough, but I’m hoping that with the quality we’ve got, we can nick it and take the three points. We have no illusions how hard it will be, and we are still going in confident, but not over-confident.

“We deserved to get something out the Wycombe game, but we never did. That’s the reality of it but I’m sure that we can bounce back from it against Doncaster. Over the last four of five games, we’ve been playing well without getting any rewards and that’s the thing that has been frustrating. I feel wins are just around the corner and hopefully, that’s going to be Saturday.”

On Paddy Lane’s Northern Ireland callup…

“I’m delighted for Paddy [Lane]; I was the Under-23s coach when he came in the building, and I have to say that he’s the one who’s earned the spot. In terms of his quality, we saw it from the first day, in his first training session, and I came in and said we needed to sign this lad as he’s got something I really like, and it’s proved to be the case.

“It’s been a large collective effort, but most of the work has been down to Paddy and his natural ability, hard work, and dedication to get him to this point – he fully deserves it and I’m sure he can handle that standard of football as well. He quite a utility player, as he’s been thrown into a few different positions and has looked comfortable so that will set him in good stead.”

On the younger players coming into the team…

“It’s been a tough learning period for them over the last four or five games. Their performances have been excellent, but they haven’t been getting the rewards – I’m juts hoping that these experiences will set them in good stead for the rest of their careers and I’m sure they will have top careers, every one of them, they are top players.

“I trust them massively and that shows as I keep putting them back into the team and they’ve produces top performances. They will have to maintain that in order to keep their places because we are hoping that in a few weeks’ time, we will be able to bring a few players back, which will mean good competition for places.

“I know that the group we’ve got has been performing well in games and I feel for them when we aren’t getting results because the performances have merited them. The reality it, we haven’t got the points on the board, but they will come if we keep up the standard of play, we’ve been showing.”

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