Assistant head coach Stephen Whittaker spoke to the media on Thursday afternoon ahead of Fleetwood Town’s Sky Bet League One clash against Charlton Athletic at The Valley.
With a hectic schedule coming up for the Cods, Whittaker is hoping that the confidence gained from the side’s historic Emirates FA Cup win over Sheffield Wednesday in midweek will carry over into the league as Town will be looking to turn their League One form around after a recent bad run.
Here’s what Stephen had to say ahead of the game:
On the Sheffield Wednesday response…
“After our poor performance on Saturday and the way we conceded the goals we did, the guys went out on Tuesday and put that right against Sheffield Wednesday. It wasn’t just the result, but it was the way they did it – to a man, I thought they put enough in to go through to the next round.
“We’ve played Sheffield Wednesday quite a few times recently, four times in fact after the replay, so we looked back at the three games before where we competed well and showed the players what they did well both for and against the ball. We tried to give them that feel-good factor going into the game, which will hopefully help take confidence into the games going forwards.
“We want a level of consistency in our performances and levels and we to do everything we can with intensity, and when you lose those factors, you allow the opposition to come in and potentially take some points off you so we are in the mindset of, if you can minimise those moments, the better you will be in the long term.”
On the reactions of the players…
“It’s always nice to see that after you have a go at the players, you see a response in the next game, and they go about it the right way. Any times we have had to ask questions of them, which haven’t come around often, they’ve come out and performed as they’re always in games and give it their all so we’re glad they came up with the answers to our questions last time out.
“The players had their opportunities on Tuesday, and they grabbed them, making it a tougher choice to pick the starting eleven, but that’s what you want within your squad. You want players at the top of their game and that allows you to also have players to come off the bench, who won’t drop their performance levels so we’re hoping that will put us in a good spot on Saturday."
On the clash against Charlton Atheltic…
“The confidence from the win on Tuesday will help us at the weekend, and we know from then on, there will be a focus on game after game and see where we can pick up some points in the coming weeks. We’ve done well against the teams above us in the league so far, we went to Ipswich and picked up a point and went on to win away at Peterborough.
“I thought we’d be stronger at home than we would have been away, but that hasn’t been the case. This is a strength that we are hoping will continue so the players shouldn’t be fazed by going to a club like Charlton as we will have our game plan, and the style we want to play, so let's see whether we can implement those and take the points on the day.
“We’re closer to the bottom than we would have liked, and we would have liked to have earned a lot more points than we have done so far this season. There have been games where we have played well but haven’t taken the points that we deserved and I think that has caught up with us a bit – we need to get vital points by performing well and we want that on Saturday.”