On player injuries...
Injury wise, we’ll be without Marc Wilson and Paddy McNair, sadly. Both players did very well at the weekend but they’ve both got knocks. Highly unlikely that Paddy will be available and Marc Wilson is a definite no. So, that’s a shame. Still, Jonny Williams and Billy Jones are not available either. Bryan Oviedo will be back available after being out injured, but yeah, we lose Marc and we lose Paddy.
On Marc Wilson...
Yeah, he done very well. He’s an experienced defender and he adds that physicality for us, along with Paddy McNair.
Especially in this league at this level, there are a lot of strong and powerful teams and we haven’t always had that size and power in our team.
You miss that and we’ve had to change a lot of personnel, we’ve had to change formations a lot and that’s been stop start, that’s quite tough.
Obviously tomorrow, those two boys out after doing so well at the weekend, it’s a shame.
How do you get your message across to the players?
All our players need to do is keep doing what they’re doing. I think the last three performances if we’d have got nine points, people would have said that’s what they deserved. We’ve amassed something like, in the last three games, over 50 shots at the opposition goal, almost doubling what they’re doing to us.
We’ve just gone out and played with no fear, we’ve had a really good edge to us, a good vibe. That’s something we’ve been looking for, for some time and it’s been good in the last three games, it’s been good. That’s all we can do and we have to continue that and hopefully a result will come with it.
The performances deserve results. I’m the first one to say when we don’t perform, when we don’t deserve it, I’m the first one to say. But, I’ve got to say, the last three games we’ve played, that’s more like it and that’s what we need going forward.
Is scoring goals a reason for optimism?
We’ve got nothing to lose, we’ve been written off and we’ve got nothing to lose. If the teams above us are going to slip up, we don’t want to be left there thinking we just missed an opportunity because we haven’t performed.
If we go out and perform, come what may the result, of course we need the result and were desperate for the result, but we’ve just got to go out and perform and give ourselves a chance.
You never ever know, it changes very quickly, football. We’ve seen it so many times, teams are written off and come from nowhere, Look, there are teams above us at the minute, they’re in the driving seat and it’s theirs to lose. Let’s make sure, if they’re going to slip up, we’re still in it and we’re on their tails and we’re chasing it down. We’ll do that by more performances like we’ve just seen in the last two to three weeks.
On the supporters...
Yeah. They haven’t had enough to shout about, our supporters. There’s been a lot going on and I think they’ve suffered a lot. So, I think we all understand that and for us, it doesn’t matter how supporters show up, we’ve got a job to do.
We’re still in the hunt, it’s a long shot for us but we’re still in the hunt. There’s still an opportunity, still a chance. We’ve just go to go out and do our work, take care of our own business.
As we’ve seen before, we saw it Saturday, the travelling support again was absolutely outstanding, clapped off the pitch again. That’s all we can do really, keep putting the performances in.
On Norwich City...
They’re not going up, they’re not going down, they’re not going anywhere. Sometimes that can work for you and sometimes it works against you.
Obviously, they’re on the back of a big win against Aston Villa. Of course, we do a little bit of work on the opposition, but we try to concentrate on ourselves as much as we can.
They’ll have their moments, Norwich City, no doubt like all opposition. But, it will be about us tomorrow, just getting ourselves right.
Any thoughts on manager etiquette?
No, I don’t. I’ve seen it a lot of times, the done thing in this country is you shake hands after the game, directly. But, I’ve been an international manager and I’ve got some big results and everybody comes to you, you’re in a melee and you can’t get to the opposition manager. Sometimes all of that gets lost.
But, the done thing in our country is that you shake hands with the manager. You go in to see them after the games, into their room, win, lose or draw. The one word that sometimes is lacking, is humility and that’s a shame. Win, lose or draw, its about who you are as a man at the end of the day, it’s not about the football and a bit of humility goes a long way.
But, we’ve seen it all, haven’t we? We’ve seen spats and maybe as managers, we’re just like everybody else, we have our moments and sometimes we don’t do what we should do. I think the word that always needs to be remembered is humility.
On tomorrow’s must win game...
I remember, it seems some time ago now, maybe it’s a long time in football nowadays, but I was sitting here before the Burton game away and it was a must win. So, if that was a must win then this is a must, must win, yeah.
You can look at it different ways, its an exciting game, we don’t want to be where we are, but there’s so much on it. We’ve just go to go and play with no fear, got to go and attack, we’ve got to be aggressive, makes chances and try to score goals. We may be a little bit open, as we saw on Saturday. But, I think we’re creating more than the opposition at the moment, so I don’t think we should change what we’re doing, really.
Is the team more settled?
I think it’s a bit of everything, really. I actually think there’s a bit more pressure on them because we’re running out of time and running out of games.
I know people outside of the group would have written us off, but from inside the camp, we’re always hanging onto that we’ve got a chance, we’ve still got a chance.
So, there’s probably been a bit more pressure on them because they know they’re no more times we can come in on the back of; “We went missing again today.” We haven’t done that in the last three games and that must continue, it’s as simple as that.
On the home form...
It’s been tough, it really has. It’s been like that for a long time, even before this season where we’ve struggled at the Stadium of Light. We went a whole year almost without winning, so that tells you everything about how hard its been.
A lot of things on the pitch, sometimes when you’re winning it covers up a lot of sins off the pitch. When you’re losing, it amplifies everything that’s going wrong. So, for us, on and off the pitch it’s been tough. But, here we are and who’s to say between now and the end of the season, we could be going into the Wolves game, all on it.
If we get to that then that’s it, the stadium will be packed out, I’m quite sure of that. It may not be packed out tomorrow night, but nevertheless, for us, we’ve still got a chance and we’ve got to hang onto that.