Head coach Scott Brown spoke to the media ahead of this weekend’s Emirates FA Cup First Round tie against Oxford City at Highbury Stadium.
With five points being picked up from the last three league games under Brown’s supervision, the Cods will be looking to advance to the next round of the FA Cup and come out on top in their tie against Oxford on the Fylde Coast on Saturday.
Here’s what the gaffer had to say in his interview:
On Oxford City and what to expect…
“I know it’s going to be a hard game for us against Oxford; I spoke to Karl [Robinson] as its about five miles down the road from where we were on Tuesday night, and they know them well. We want to make sure we put in a good performance; I do especially as it’s my first FA Cup tie.
“You’ve got to respect everyone; we need to make sure we are on form and not turn up to the game expecting to just win because these things don’t happen. Our game plan changes for every team, in terms of personnel and formations, so we’ve just got to sit down now and study Oxford and will try to forge a plan after picking up pointers on how they play – cup shocks have happened in the past and we don’t want to be one of them.
“Most of the games, they’ve been playing 4-3-3 and have big [Josh] Parker coming in from the left-hand side who has been in League One in the last couple of seasons. We know they’ve got some good players, but we need to make sure we are on our A-game, especially because we are at home.”
On enjoying the FA Cup and loanee players’ eligibility…
“I enjoyed watching English football, I don’t know about the rest of Scotland, but I could sit down and watch anything. I took in both the FA Cup and the Scottish Cup as for me, a cup final is huge for whichever club it is. For this club, it would be good for us to get through as if you make it to the Third Round, you never know who you could get.
“Lewis [Warrington] is able to play and so is Jakub [Stolarczyk] – we only got that information just before this interview so we should know about Carlos [Mendes Gomes] by tomorrow morning. This is just a factor of getting loan players in, we’ve got to deal with these requirements and take them on the chin. You never know we might get both the lads from Luton eligible for Saturday.”
On having a less-packed games schedule…
“From Saturday, we’ve got a week in between the next four or five games which gives us a lot of time to prep, training-wise and allows us to get a lot of coaching points into the lads on the field as well. As we have done, we’ve changed formation once or twice so we might have a look at that again and see whether we can tinker with that.
“There are a lot of positives when it comes to Saturday-to-Saturday games, but you want to keep up that momentum when you are getting points on the board. I know sometimes there are injuries, but we know that the lads are in a good place, and we want to make that all of this continues.”
An update on the injury to Shaun Rooney…
“It’s not too good right now for Roons [Shaun Rooney]; he went to get a scan, but he’s got a huge gash on the side of his leg so we are just doing everything we can to make sure he gets through it. We’ll probably know more about it in two-three weeks when he’ll be back on the grass, but we know that he’s a big miss as he has done well for us so far this season.
“He’s a big personality in the changing room; he’s been great for us since coming in and always has great enthusiasm going forwards, and his running power is exceptional to be perfectly honest. We want to play with a high press and have players running behind. When we’ve got wingbacks like that, it makes my job a whole lot easier.
“It’s hard for coaches as people as about these injuries at the time and we don’t have the answers, we’ve just got to feedback as much as we get told at that time. It’s not like Roons to come off on a stretcher, which is a problem, but we are hoping for good news about him tomorrow.”