Assistant head coach Steven Whittaker sat down with the media on Thursday afternoon and previewed Fleetwood Town’s upcoming Sky Bet League One clash against Port Vale.
Whittaker and head coach Scott Brown want to get back to the form the side reached in February when they won five games from seven and will be looking to bounce back after a tough week on the road last time out, losing two games in a row against Cheltenham Town and Wycombe Wanderers respectively.
Here’s what Steven had to say ahead of the game:
On Vale at the weekend and a look ahead…
“It’s going to be a tough game; we’re coming off the back of a couple of better results at home so we are hoping we can keep a feel-good factor going into the game, they are off the back of a win so it’s going to be a challenge like every game is. We did a bit of work with the boys this morning, but we’ll continue to work and carry on planning.
“We’ve had a bit of inconsistency here and there; we’ve had games where we’ve drawn and have played well but, on the other hand, we’ve scored some goals in the final minutes of games that have secured us some points as well. There have been ups and downs with the good and the bad, but I think the boys need some credit.
“Every game we’ve been in whether we are winning or losing at the time and I don’t think there’s been a game that’s gotten away from us as we’ve been in them until the dying minutes, which is down to their endeavour to try and take something from each match – we’ll be trying to finish more towards the top than the bottom from now until the end of the season.”
On why Owain Fon Williams has been on the bench…
“It’s because of a situation where our promising young goalkeeper [Stephen McMullan] has been injured so it’s been a matter of getting experience on the bench rather than going even younger than what our normal number two is at the minute. We registered Owain as a backup and he’s a good option as he keeps himself in good knack.
“He’s out running and doing bits and pieces in training so if he’s ever needed, he will be ready, but we are hoping that [Jay] Lynchy stays fit as he’s been top class for us this year. He’s someone we’ve brought in and from day one, it’s no surprise to see him perform like he does if you see his work rate and attitude he puts in every day.”
On the improvements made since the summer…
“It’s all about progression; we want to put the club in a safer spot, which we have done so far, but there’s still a lot of points to play for, so we will keep pushing forward and demand more from us as a staff and the players. We will continue to improve and push up the league; the lads are used to the routine, standards of hard-working, and working together.
“Those are the fundamentals we are trying to live off every day as we demand that the players come in and both play hard and work hard. We had to get fitter and more physical. At the other end of that, it’s the quality you need in certain areas of the pitch to produce goals – we are constantly looking at getting better at all of those aspects.”
On the challenges faced by the squad…
“We were on a good run, with a bit of momentum behind us, so we are a bit disappointed about the last two results. We had a flat performance against Cheltenham and at Wycombe, the performance was ok in terms of certain aspects of the game, but we still came away with nothing.
“It’s going to be a challenge and we know that’s what we are coming up again, it’s for us to show we can go out there and beat these teams and have proven we can earn points against them this season. There were moments in the game that we know we can get better at, and we looked over it this morning so we are hoping that will help us going into the Port Vale game.”