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Johnson: These games will be massive for us moving forward

28 September 2023

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Manager Lee Johnson spoke to the media ahead of his side’s league clash against Leyton Orient at the weekend and expressed his desire to show the progression made since the last home game.

The Cods picked up a point on the road in their last outing against Burton Albion last Saturday and will be looking to build on that result as they look for their first win of the season, with that result hopefully coming this weekend when Leyton travel up to the Fylde Coast for the first time in eight years.

Here’s what Lee had to say in his interview:

On showing the progression back at Highbury…

“We love playing at home and know that games there will be massive for us moving forward from now until the end of the season and I’m looking forward to the fans seeing the progress that’s been made. The supporters who went to Burton were superb in their voice and they created a vibrant atmosphere which I want to bring back home.

“From a playing side, we need to make sure we give the supporters that feeling of progression and will build a performance on top of that. I thought the defensive organisation was much better, the distance covered, and the body language was better at Burton. We defended the box well from their threats and now it’s about having more runs of attacks.

“When you build an attack, you’ve also got to have that defensive structure, so there are a lot of intricacies we’ve been working on and it’s important that they come out. The boys have worked hard so it’s about finding the balance between allowing them to build themselves as an athlete, but also being fresh for the performance.”

On changing the body language during games…

“It’s an organisation; it’s about giving good information, not commentating, but giving concise loud information to set a press for example and it’s not being too disappointed in yourself or your teammate when the ball is given away. The body language of the ‘arms out wide’ stance says that play was useless and that is not conducive and they need to switch on.

“You lose too many seconds by doing that, there are around 150 giveaways in each game per team so if you lose six or so players for a few seconds, you are missing a lot of opportunities to win the ball back.

"That’s an example of it. If we miss a chance, I want us to snap back into shape and not be too disappointed and think the fans need to see the spirit of ‘blocks’ and getting back in.

“You cover your teammates and if they make a mistake, I’m going to be there to help them out. There are a lot of factors that go into a positive spirit, and identity, as you can then defend as a team and attack as a team. I saw better signs in the Burton game than I did in the Oxford game in both attacking and defending the ball.”

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