Town Head Coach Luke Williams addressed the local media on Thursday ahead of the Reds’ crucial Sky Bet League One clash away at Coventry City on Saturday (3pm Kick-Off). Here are the key points from the press conference…
ON TOM SMITH AND JAKE EVANS HEADING OUT ON LOAN TO WATERFORD:
“It is a great experience for them and the league campaign gets underway on Friday so they need to be ready for that.
“It is just a good environment for young players to go and learn what it is like to be on the pitch week in and week out and playing for points.
“Tom Smith has been managed well and when he’s been in he’s given a good account of himself so that hopefully protects him and keeps him confident and progressing, rather than putting him in too much too early and potentially stop his progress.”
ON THE 0-0 DRAW WITH OLDHAM ATHLETIC:
“We outperformed every team in the division in terms of creating chances and stopping the opposition.
“We limited Oldham to zero attempts on target and we had twenty-six shots in total – it was enough to win a game.
“We’ve been criticised for not attacking enough because we’ve been trying to make sure we defend properly and now we’ve attacked more than anybody else and we’ve not managed to get a goal and we’ve defended more efficiently than anybody else as well.
“It was extremely frustrating not to have taken the points but I would rather be drawing a game that I feel like we’ve absolutely should have won rather than drawing a game and feeling lucky.”
ON COVENTRY CITY:
“Russell Slade is a really, really good guy and he’s got lots of experience and he’ll be putting his slant on the team as gradually as he can.
“Everyone has still got so much to play for still and nobody is up, nobody is down and nobody is in the Play-Offs for sure, so everybody needs to work for everything.
“We expect a tough game and the pitch will be difficult to play on for both teams, so it is going to be a full-blooded affair.”
ON A REUNION WITH JORDAN TURNBULL:
“Jordan Turnbull is a very, very good football player that is capable of playing at least one level higher.
“I’ve got no doubt that the boy can play at the very top level and he’s got all the ability, he’s got the right personality and he’s going to have a long career.
“He came here and played every single game in his first season and he pretty much played every minute of every game when he came back last term.
“Now it is a completely different situation for him that he’s got to learn from and he’s still young.
“He’s come out of the team, the team are struggling on the pitch and he needs to learn from that and that will only make him stronger for the rest of his career.”
ON A POINTS TARGET FOR SAFETY:
“The targets have got to be one big one, which is to get at least 50 points, but other than that there needs to be very short-term targets, which is to prepare properly and be ready to go and beat Coventry.
“We don’t need to look too much further than that.”
ON FACING THE TOP SIDES IN THE FINAL RUN-IN:
“We beat Bolton Wanderers away and we beat Bradford City here so we’re capable of beating any team.
“Of course, the likes of Sheffield United and Scunthorpe are particularly good teams this year so it will be that much more difficult, but the opponents don’t get much bigger and stronger than Bolton and Bradford and we’ve beaten both teams.
“We don’t need to be overly scared of any side, we need to up our own game and we need to be more consistent in our performances so we’re always in with a chance of winning.”
ON ROHAN INCE’S FINE PERFORMANCE AGAINST OLDHAM ATHLETIC:
“I have worked with Rohan before and I know what he can bring to the team.
“After going in and then having the Court Case and being absent, we’re now starting to see what he really can bring to the team and that bite in the middle of the pitch has been missing.
“That has given us an extra something that we’ve not had all season.”
ON FOCUSING ON THEMSELVES:
“It is natural for everyone to want to look at other results but what won’t happen is all the other teams fail to get to 50 points and we are fine as we are – it is not going to happen.
“Nobody is going backwards and teams will pick up points but we know that if we pick up enough points then we will be safe and that is what we must focus on because as soon as you start looking at other results then you can become too nervous, or if results start going your way then you think everything is okay.
“We just need to focus inward and make sure that we’re doing our bit correctly.
“There is time and we’ve got that opportunity now to put things right.”