Defender Harrison Holgate sat down earlier on this week and spoke about how he feels the side has progressed throughout the season and the importance of keeping standards until the end with BBC Radio Lancashire.
Holgate, who has been a constant performer in the back line so far this campaign, has certainly played a part in Scott Brown’s side keeping six clean sheets in their last 12 games as the Cods look to finish the season strong, starting with this weekend’s fixture against Exeter City.
Here’s what Harrison had to say in his interview:
On how the season has progressed in his eyes…
“We’re going good at the minute; I think we’ve turned it around a bit as we had an inconstant start to the season where we couldn’t quite get a run going. In recent months, we’ve managed to do that and have managed to back up good performances with more positive results and wins in general whereas sometimes we’ve played well but not gotten the results.
“In some games recently, we haven’t been brilliant but we’ve managed to pick up three points so that’s what it’s all about. It was hard coming in from last season as there’s a new manager, and staff members, so we knew it would take a while for them to settle themselves in as it’s the gaffer’s [Scott Brown] and Whitts’ [Steven Whittaker] first roles it took time to work things out.
“Everything is coming together the longer we work together, and we’ve managed to go on a little run which has helped us all; it’s a big responsibility for them to take on in their first roles, but I do think they’ve done well. After last year, we were hoping to be safer, as we are now, and we can look up rather than down this season which is a nice feeling.”
On his comeback from last season’s injury…
“It’s been good this year as last season was quite tough as I was out for the whole season as I ruptured my achilleas; I started the first game of the season, which was a big achievement but looking back, I don’t think I was ready which is no-one’s fault.
“When you think you can play, you push on as if no one can hold you back, but I probably should have taken a little more time as I had another few weeks out due to things flaring up – that benefitted me as I was able to get fully fit.”
On the partnerships built in the back line…
“Everyone works hard for each other in the defence, so I think that helps as you know everyone is going to give their all. Brendan [Wiredu] has come into the back line from the midfield and he’s been unbelievable, he brings something different as he’s very good on the ball and driving forwards, much like what Josh Earl can do on the other side.
“My role mainly is to fit in the middle and cover the line, but keep the ball moving fast around the back, so I think it’s gelled on the defensive side of things and the team is doing well because of it. The run in the team, that I’ve had in recent months has helped me as I think I’ve kicked on massively this season.”
On beginning to feel comfortable in games…
“It was a great win, but also a brilliant performance against Derby, the fans were booing them off at half-time as they weren’t at it as much as they might have wanted to be – we were good throughout the game though. We were going there as underdogs, but it shows we can go to the bigger teams and can compete, do well, and be on top during those games.
“There were times during the season when you went in at half-time at 1-0 and you were a bit nervous as there is some pressure there to keep the clean sheet, but now, you feel a lot more comfortable as when we were 2-0 up at Derby, it felt comfortable as we didn’t think we were going to concede at all that game.
“The run helps the momentum and builds confidence, as the strikers can see that we are going to hold out and are doing better defensively, they know they don’t have to go and score three or four to keep up in the game. If they can nick one now, we know that we can go on to win games, so it’s been good for the whole team.”