Luke Williams sat down with members of the local media earlier today to preview tomorrow’s Sky Bet League One clash against Bradford City.
The Reds take on The Bantams at Valley Parade (3pm Kick-Off) with a huge three-points at stake and Williams gave his thoughts ahead of the game.
“We need to win. The one thing that we can do to make the whole process 1% more comfortable for the fans is to show them that we are trying,” he said.
“We need to try for them and if we win then we can give them some hope to hold on to, but failing that we need to show them that we are trying every single thing we can and hopefully they recognise that.
“I hope that the environment tomorrow is one that appeals to the players to want to try more.
“Valley Parade is a fantastic place to go and there will be a big crowd there, but that can do one of two things.
“That can make people run for the hills and be scared or it can help people feel excited and they want to try and prove themselves on this stage, but we need to be ready for every single game.
“We need to think more about being able to defend a lead as opposed to trying to make the game out of reach and keep going and going.
“There may be moments in games where we need to protect a lead and put everybody behind the ball and just try to make it impossible for the opposition to get back on terms with us.
“But to start a game defensive or to start slow is just suicide so we need to attack from the beginning.
“Bradford are not going to be overly worried about us and I’m sure they will do their due diligence, but I should think that they will set their stall out to come and attack us.
“They were strong last season as well and they bombarded us in the early stages and we couldn’t breathe.
“They were excellent, they had a real intensity and they had pace, power, a bit of know-how and ability in there.
“This group is even better I think and we can expect a furious, attacking team, especially in the opening minutes of the game.
“But, we of course need the points even more so than they probably do and we need to attack as well, so I expect an end-to-end game and both teams will be looking to attack.
“It will be a battle of wills.
“Bradford will be very aggressive but they can really pass the ball well in the middle of the pitch and they can really dominate you.
“They are a very good team.”
Meanwhile, Williams also gave updates on Jermaine Hylton and Yaser Kasim with the pair currently working their way back to full fitness.
“Jermaine hasn’t been cast aside but the balance of the squad is such at the moment that I don’t see too many opportunities for him right now,” he added.
“Luke Norris has scored a couple of goals off the bench and he’s physically very strong and he’s committed every single day.
“He’s a very good professional and he’s exactly the type of character that you want in your squad.
“He comes off the bench and tries to cover every blade of grass, he’ll compete for everything and he always, always looks a real goal threat.
“Nicky Ajose and Jon Obika have proven over the backend of last season and since Nicky has come back in that they work very well together and they provide chances for each other.
“Jon gives something that no one else in the squad can with his ability to receive a ball over a distance under pressure.
“Nicky has proved himself and there is no doubt that he can score goals and assist goals, so it is difficult for Jermaine to make his way.
“He needs to be showing every day that he’s ready.
“Yaser Kasim has been ill for a while and he’s not at the stage where he’s fully fit and I need to be 100% sure that players are completely ready.
“We can’t carry passengers and we need everybody fully at it and we need everybody absolutely focused and ready.”