Head Coach Scott Brown spoke to the local press on Thursday afternoon as he previewed his side’s league clash against Barnsley at Highbury.
Off the back of the international break, which saw the squad travel to Italy for a friendly against Como 1907, the Cods will be looking to build on their recent form at home as they remain unbeaten in the league on the Fylde Coast, with the last Sky Bet League One fixture ending in a 1-1 draw against Charlton Athletic two weeks ago.
Here’s what the gaffer had to say in his pre-match press conference:
On Saturday’s opposition and how they’ve started…
“We’re taking it one game at a time; we’ve got Barnsley coming here on Saturday who are a great club with a huge fanbase. They are in the play-offs, but we have done well against the harder teams especially, against the likes of Derby, Plymouth, and Charlton as well who have been playing well this season.
“Every game is going to be a test for us, we always want to go gung-ho, but there also has to be a time and a place where we must understand that you can sit in the mid-block, be patient, and be hard to beat as we have got pace and quality on the counter. We’ve got to have different variations in the way we want to play as well so we aren’t going to be one-dimensional all the time.
“There aren’t any big teams and small teams, just ones that are the strongest teams in the league at the time, so for us, we have been doing well against them, but we have struggled in certain games as well. We just need to make sure that we maintain that week in, week out, as we can’t let our standards drop.”
On the trip to Italy and the benefits of the international break…
“It was nice, the weather was lovely, and the game was good as well. It showed the lads how they could perform against a top-quality team with players like [Cesc] Fabregas, who has an unreal understanding of the game and have such a quick momentum whilst playing.
“It was good for the lads to have some downtime because the games have been coming thick and fast and we’ve set a lot of demands on them as coaching staff at the same time, which was in both games and on the training pitch as well.
“It was good to have the group of players out with their countries as well and, at the same time, it was good for the lads who were here with us to get that rest and recovery. I know we played Tuesday and Thursday, but we had a mix of the young lads and a few first-team players with them as we tried to minimize minutes as much as we could.”
On the start of the season and the expectations set by the players…
“It’s not been a bad start for us; the first game was a ‘welcome to League One’ for us for sure as we went one-nil up and thought everything was nice and cosy, but it shows that if you switch off for a couple of minutes, you can lose two goals from set-plays. We’re a little bit more physical than we were last season and have got more depth in the squad as well.
“If everyone buys into what we believe in, it’s important because it shows that the lads have trust in you and if they’ve got that, they will work that little bit harder for you in games. To be fair, that goes for us as well as we have a lot of faith in these lads, we can only pick 11 players but it’s all about the squad.
“We’re always trying to improve, as players and staff, and we’re trying to install a winning mentality but it’s up to them now, they are the ones who go out on the pitch. They want to make themselves better, push their boundaries, and want to win games like us.
“It’s about the standards they set for themselves in games, and they’ve been brilliant this season. We need to make sure that we can put a decent 90 minutes together and hopefully, we can pick up some good results soon.”