Head coach Scott Brown spoke to the media on Thursday afternoon ahead of his side’s home clash against Accrington Stanley at the weekend.
The Cods showed their character in the last outing as they came back from behind to earn a point against Forest Green Rovers on Tuesday thanks to a skilful finish from Callum Morton midway through the second half. Brown’s squad will be wanting to go one step further on Saturday as they host Stanley for a Lancashire Derby day.
Here’s what the gaffer had to say in his interview:
On the opposition and impact of the fans…
“Accrington are a direct team that score a lot of goals, so we’ve got to be wary of that, but stay focused on ourselves - they like a physical battle and John [Coleman] has them well drilled. We need to make sure we’re on the same page on Saturday as momentum is key and if the fans are the twelfth man at home, they would help the lads so much.
“The fans have been with the lads, they’ve got our backs through thick and thin, so it’s been good, but we want to give the fans more, especially at home. We’ve had a lot of draws and last-minute goals, which have been hard for them and the players to take, but I want them to know that we 100% committed to this club, as they are, and we all want to do what’s right for this club.
“The lads always want to learn and improve. There are always going to be people in and out of the team – I have to be the bad guy, but I take that on the chin as I need to pick a team to go and win on Saturday - we also have five opportunities to bring players on as the bench could win you the game.”
On taking the positives from Tuesday night…
“We had 17 shots and four on target, which we were a bit disappointed about but the lads are creating chances and, the more we create, the better chance we have of putting the ball into the back of the net. We’ve just got to keep that positivity, you can train as much as you want, but we need someone to do it in-game.
“We don’t want to be one dimensional, or be a nice pretty team, we want to mix it up. In the last couple of games, we’ve struggled with deliveries into the box, so we brought Joe [Garner] into the team and the crosses seemed to get a bit better as he caused a few problems. Roons [Shaun Rooney] has that bit of quality on the wing and finds Cal [Morton], who had a fantastic finish."
On Callum Morton’s talent and ability in front of goal…
“Callum had a fantastic finish and hit the post, with another going just wide of the target so, on a different day, he could have had a hat-trick, but it wasn’t to be. We’ve been solid defensively, but we made one mistake as Drew [Baker] is pulled out of the back line – this is his only mistake since coming into the side as he’s been solid in every game from his debut against Everton.
“We see it in training that Callum scores goals, he’s got the x-factor that a lot of people haven’t got as he can create, score goals, and can beat a man as well. He’s got to have that belief in his own ability to show that he can do it week in, week out – we see it every day in training, so we just want to see him be more positive in games.”
On players potentially coming back from injury…
“Both of them have been training; Toto [Nsiala] is a little bit ahead of Harvey [Macadam] who may be in the squad for the weekend, but Toto has been training with the lads and making sure everything is ok after the little injury he picked up. He seems to be fine now and has joined in with full contact sessions, which he is looking sharp in.
“The squad is there to be used and we need to make sure we rotate the squad and that’s what we did on Tuesday. We had to have a few rotations as it’s been the same guys who have been playing week in, week out and, sometimes, you just need that bit of freshness in the squad.
“We’ve had a few injuries here and there; Promise [Omochere] is back out on the grass so that’s a positive for us. He’s found it tough coming over from Ireland with the intensity of our football and is just playing catch up as he’s picked up a couple of injuries but has been there when we’ve needed him.”