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Johnson: The senior players had an A-grade attitude

7 November 2023

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Manager Lee Johnson spoke to the media after Fleetwood Town advanced to the knockout stages of the Bristol Street Motors Trophy, with a victory over Leicester City Under-21s.

A Ryan Broom brace and goals from Will Johnson and Ryan Graydon completed a dominant 4-0 display in front of the lights at Highbury.

Here’s what the gaffer said after the game:

On tonight’s performance…

“I was inspired by the performance; I thought the senior players had an A-grade attitude which was key, and I thought the younger players coped well and showed real signs of quality.

“For senior players, the attitude is really important; you had [Xavier] Simons, [Scott] Robertson, [Ryan] Broom, and I thought Ryan [Broom] optimised the performance - everything we worked on in training was brought out by the boys, they were the catalyst that midfield three.

“What we’ve got is a clarity in the way we play now, we’re starting to know what a good performance looks like and know what a bad performance looks like. You hold the shirt by performing like that regularly winning football matches, that’s the competition that we’re trying to create within the squad.

“There was a lot of good performances and that’s what we expect. Our run is a couple of losses in ten as I see it, and Saturday becomes a really big game for us. We have to be relentless in our pursuit of the excellence that we’re going for.”

On Qualifying for the knockout stages…

“I think a lot of credit should go to the academy as well for the two or three games that have got us through these group stages. I think we coped well given the fact some of the boys haven’t been regulars.

“Matt Lawlor has helped us with the two games and certainly today as well with his knowledge of Under-21s, so a big thank you to him. I think it's also important that integration runs through the squad.”

Managing injuries and squad fitness…

“It was a tricky tie for us because we didn’t have the option, being mindful of the injury situation, to play anybody who had that sort of 90 minutes. A lot of the boys that we thought were important for Saturday are not here tonight.

“I thought [Bosun Lawal] was a Rolls Royce in that first half; we knew we was going to select him and take him off at half time. It was good to have Harvey [Macadam] back as well. A long absence through injury and a great little story to get him 25 minutes back, there were a lot of nice stories today.

“It’s not always easy to come into that first team environment, we do put a demand on the (younger players) at times, whether that’s training or that’s these games. We’re trying to add to their game and experiences like this one are good.”

“For us it's about continuing to evolve and part of that evolvement is the progression of the young players. It’s positive moving forward for that production line that we so need at a club like Fleetwood.”

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