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Earl: A win on the opening day will bring the squad huge confidence

3 August 2023


Earl: A win on the opening day will bring the squad huge confidence

3 August 2023

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Fleetwood Town defender Josh Earl sat down with local media on Thursday afternoon to discuss pre-season and the opening Sky Bet League One match away at Carlisle United.

The central-defender was ever-present in head coach Scott Brown's side last year, and is determined to keep repaying the faith shown in him by putting in good performances week in week out for the Cod Army.

The 24-year-old has featured in the last three pre-season friendly matches, but knows that the hard work done over the last six weeks all comes down to getting a positive result in the opening game at Brunton Park.

Here's what Josh had to say on pre-season, the importance of an opening day win and coming up against former teammates this weekend:

On pre-season… 

“I am feeling really good. I had a good off-season, enjoyed my holidays, and then had a little break before coming back in for pre-season.

“It’s huge having a break. Not just physically, but also mentally because it is important to take time out from football, especially after a long season like we had last year. It just helps yourself get prepared for the upcoming season.

“For the mental side, it affects people in different ways. Mentally for me, it’s about being the best I can be. Sometimes you have bad games and other weeks you have great games and defeats always have an impact on your mental state.

“You come home, and you’re gutted about the defeat, but in football I feel it’s important not to get too high, or to get too low about things, but having a break and switching off is the best thing.”

On having a good start to the season…

“Some of the signing we’ve made this summer are fantastic, and those lads have settled in really well, so for me that really excites me.

"We’ve only strengthened the squad and I know we finished 13th last season, but I look back at last season and think how did we only get a point there, or how did we lose there, but if we can turn a few loses into draws and draws into wins, we can be right up there.

“I think the play-offs has to be a massive goal for us this season. We need to start off well - you work hard all pre-season and the first game us huge, and from there you hopefully win and then string a few results together.

“If you win, you keep going, but if you lose on the opening day, it feels like a long season ahead. We didn’t start off well last year, but then we got a few draws. I do feel a win on the opening day can help confidence massively within this squad."

On coming up against Carlisle and former teammates…

“Those I know at Carlisle; I will speak to them after the match. If I do see them before the game, I will say hello but obviously Joe Garner was with his last season and Paul Huntington were at Preston North End when I was there.

“I am close to them all, Jack Armer was a little bit younger than me when we both broke through and then Hunts, he was brilliant with me daily and Garner, he might not remember me from his time at North End.

“We are all human, but I can’t look past Joe Garner because I know he’s going to leave an elbow in on me at some point, but he knows he will get one back from me and then we will get on with it and shake hands at the end of the game, that’s just the way it is.”

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