Defender Callum Johnson sat down with the media on Thursday afternoon and looked towards this weekend’s Sky Bet League One fixture against Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium.
The 26-year-old has been an ever-present figure in the side since joining on loan from fellow League One side, Portsmouth, and now sits on four goals after 31 appearances in all competitions. He will be looking to help the side gain all three points on the road on Saturday as the Cods face off against the Brewers.
Here’s what Callum said in his pre-match interview:
On Burton and the near future…
“They are a physical side Burton, and their form has been up and down, I know they haven’t had some good performances as of late but, we know that they are going to be a tough opponent. Not only are they physical, but they are very direct – we know what they will bring. The way that Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink sets them up, they are hard to beat and break down so we will look at ways we can push them, counter those facts, and try to get the win.
“You look at their results after every game and you have an idea of everyone’s form in terms of whether they are winning or losing at that time, but I don’t think it really matters, to be honest. They will play the same way no matter what, the 3-5-2 is the formation they play and, with the physicality they’ve got, I don’t think form really matters. We are just going out there to beat them.
“We are in a relegation battle; these are the times you’ve got to stand up and be counted as you can easily find yourself on the wrong side of the line, but we’ve got the right personalities to stick together. We know that the pressure will build unless we get the wins we need, and we know we’ve got to stay in this division - that’s a fact. We need to stay the right side of the line and I’m confident we can do so.”
On the packed fixture schedule…
“It’s a massive opportunity to pick up points, in a week you can come out with six, seven, or even nine points. I enjoy playing Saturday/Tuesday as I think it suits me, we are a young group and have some fit lads. Teams will start to tire and get a bit leggy and that’s when we need to show our strengths, push through, and get the results we need.
“There are two ways to look at the schedule, but you’ve got to look at it in a positive way. We’ve got injuries, everybody knows that, and we’ve got a young side on the whole. I’ve seen players start to tire at the end of the season and we are hoping that we keep that freshness, have the ability to recover after every game and do everything we can to get ready for the next game.
“For me, if you win on Saturday, you want to play on Tuesday and if you don’t win on Saturday, you want to rectify if as quick as you can on the following Tuesday, so we don’t have a problem with the packed schedule for the rest of the season – it’s something I’m looking forward to.”
On recent results and performances…
“I thought we played some good stuff, but we can’t keep using the word unlucky because you make your own luck. I thought things went against us but things like that happen in football and you just have to look at ourselves and pick the positives from the game.
“We can’t beat ourselves up about the scoreline as it’s a tough place to go, Sunderland away, without a doubt, I thought we deserved a point minimum. It’s been small margins in games, whether that be in the final third or at the other end of the pitch. I thought we had opportunities to punish them on the night that we didn’t take, and we’ll look to rectify that in the games moving forward.
“We’ve got to take the positives from the midweek game and put those in the performances in the future. The manager has said to us that if we do that, we will be fine, and I agree. If we perform like that, we will get some vital wins and climb up the table.”