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Nicholson: If both teams are at it, it will be a good fixture

3 March 2022

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Assistant Head Coach Barry Nicholson spoke to the media ahead of Fleetwood Town’s Sky Bet League One clash against play-off hopefuls Ipswich Town at Highbury on Saturday.

Town will be looking to get back to winning ways against the Tractor Boys when they travel to Highbury Stadium at the weekend and will want to replicate the performance from the last time they visited as it ended in a 2-0 win to the Cods thanks to goals from Ged Garner and Callum Connolly on that day.

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

On Saturday’s opposition…

“Ipswich have got a good squad; they’ve got a lot of firepower at the top end of the pitch as they had Norwood up top with Aluko playing in the hole, with Celina and Chaplin on the bench and Piggott as well. They’ve got a real attacking threat on the pitch and it’s one we’ve got to look at, be aware of and try to block them out. On the other hand, we’ve got to try and play our stuff and hurt them going the other way.

“We watched their game against Morecambe recently and I thought they started the game brightly. They’ve drawn three out of the last four so they’ve probably not won enough games, but they’re certainly in a position where they can push for the play-offs. It will be different pressures on the day – they’re trying to reach the play-offs and we are trying to get away from the bottom end of the table so if both teams are at it at the weekend, it will be a good fixture.

“The manager and the staff speak regularly about the performances and look back on the games that we’ve played; when we look back, we’ve seen that the performance levels have been good apart from a couple of games. Other than that, we’ve been doing well in games and have been a match for teams, but at the end of the day, you have to win games and we know that, so we have to turn those good performances into winning ones.”

On the squad as a whole…

“Paddy [Lane] has been back on the grass after a slight knock so we are hoping that he will be available for the weekend. We’ll access everything this afternoon then again tomorrow morning. We are hoping that he is going to be alright.

“We were looking forward to having [Joe] Garner back in the squad as we think he’s going to have a big part to play but he’s going to miss three games. We’ve just got to make sure we keep him right during the games he’s missing and make sure that he’s a threat for us in the last eight or nine games.”

On taking positives from the last two games…

“With the way the last couple of games have gone, we are wanting to get back on the pitch as soon as possible as the players are looking to respond after the last two results. We were disappointed to drop points [against Portsmouth] after being 3-0 up at the weekend and I thought we were comfortable in the game midweek [against Wigan] for 35 minutes, but a ten-minute spell before half-time killed the game off for us after that.

“Since Stephen [Crainey] has taken charge, we have always tried to stay positive with the group and we did the same with the lads this morning. We know we’ve got to stop conceding goals when you are down at the bottom of the table as it so important to get clean sheets so we have concentrated on that this morning and will do the same tomorrow ahead of the game on Saturday.

“If we can get a clean sheet in a game, we’ve got the firepower at the other end as we’ve shown that we can score goals - that’s what we are looking to do at the weekend. We want our team to work defensively together and as a unit, we don’t just blame our defence if we concede goals, so everyone has to work that little bit harder, with the coaching staff included.”

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