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Interviews

Pre Peterborough | Steve Cotterill

6 April 2023

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Interviews

Pre Peterborough | Steve Cotterill

6 April 2023

Manager Steve Cotterill met with the media ahead of tomorrow's game at home to Peterborough.

Town welcome Darren Ferguson's side to Montgomery Waters Meadow determined to bounce back from our disappointing defeat at Charlton last weekend.

Speaking to the assembled media, Steve discussed the game at The Valley and gave a fitness update on Matt Pennington and Rekeil Pyke.

And with six of our last eight games having been away from home, the boss also said how pleased he is to be back at Montgomery Waters Meadow tomorrow - with Steve urging our fans to be the 12th man and really help the lads during the final eight games of the campaign.

ON BEING BACK AT HOME WITH SIX OUT OF OUR LAST EIGHT GAMES HAVING BEEN AWAY: 

"You didn’t have to bring that number six up again!  

"The home forward has been good. It’s only the recent form away from home that has dipped a little bit and last week compounds it. 

"But I don’t think the fixtures have been kind to us with how they have fallen. 

"After the Easter weekend, we will have had seven out of 10 games away.

"And in this league, wherever you go, they are difficult games. 

"To have so many on the road isn’t fair. I still think two away, two at home is nonsense. But someone will come up with some theory behind it. 

"It's that’s worked out great for us in this little period, hasn’t it? 

"It doesn’t help but we prepare as much as we can. We train at the right times down to the last hour, what we are going to eat, when we are going to eat it. 

"But it doesn’t help if you go down to Charlton, you leave (on the bus) at 12 o’clock and you get there at 7pm. 

"All the preparation you do, how can you legislate for seven hours stuck on a motorway – you can’t. It's just something you have to take on the chin.  

"There is something (positive) in five of the remaining eight games are at home."

ON WHETHER THE TRAVEL IMPACTED THE PERFORMANCE AT CHARLTON: 

"It doesn’t help when you expect the journey to be three and a half or three and a quarter hours. 

"But at the end of the day, that won’t explain some of the decisions we made last week - whether we had three hours on the bus or six or seven hours on the bus. 

"Last week, it’s still really difficult when you look back at the game to try and explain it. 

"We were the better side in the first half. We were definitely the better side for the first 25 minutes. 

"Emotion takes over. We gave away a couple of stupid free-kicks and then all of a sudden we are 2-0 down. 

"Then the third goal before half-time is a tough one to take. At half-time then, there is a mountain to climb. 

"We needed the first goal back in that period. It doesn’t help when they get the next one and we go down to 10 men. That doesn’t help at all. 

"But these things can happen. You saw one of the biggest clubs in the world (Manchester United) get beat 7-0 the other week by one of their biggest rivals. 

"I’m not sure you can explain it. Sometimes you get punished for everything and we got punished for everything last week because it was never a 6-0 scoreline. 

"We have got to make sure now that we spin that one back on its head and get on with this game against Peterborough and do our best to get three points." 

ON THE HOME CROWD: 

"I have mentioned in my programme notes this week, I think my staff and the players have given everything this year – for such a small group. 

"We can talk all day long about the players we haven’t got. But those players we have got have kept going, kept going and kept going. 

"And the staff have done exactly the same. They have given everything this year. 

"The local radio station, the local paper, have all written good things about us this season and rightly so because I do think they deserve credit for what they have done this season. 

"What we don’t want to happen is for it to tail off.

"Sometimes, a lot is said that we need the backing of the crowd. And you need to do what you need to do to get the backing of the crowd. It works both ways, I think. 

"But after Monday’s game, we will have had seven out of 10 of our matches away from home. 

"And whilst we have had good followings wherever we have gone, we have had it tough with a lot of decisions that have gone against us in games. 

"Some of those refereeing ones that we had earlier in the season have spun on us again. 

"It’s our turn at home now - for our stadium to be vocal and noisy.

"And I want the lads to feel that energy and the enthusiasm coming from the stands. I think that is important. I think they need that bit of help. 

ON MATT PENNINGTON: 

"He is okay, he is going to be okay Matthew.  He didn’t train in the early part of the week. But he is okay, he has trained the last two days and he will be okay thankfully."

ON REKEIL PYKE: 

"There isn't really an update. Achilles tendons are notoriously slow healers just because the blood supply in the tendon is poor. 

"It’s the same as anyone who has suffered with tennis elbow.  

"You think tennis elbow ‘that’s alright.’ But if you ever have tennis elbow, it’s one of the most painful things ever. 

"And Achilles tendonitis is really, really, tough to get that one to heal quickly so Ricky won’t be available this week." 

ON NOT WANTING THE SEASON TO PETER OUT: 

"That’s the last thing I want to happen and I think it’s the last thing the players want to happen which is why I say we might need a little bit of fan help. 

"We don’t want anything to tail off. Say we win tomorrow – it’s down to six points (the gap to the playoffs). 

"Then we have our game in hand, if we win the game in hand it’s down to three points. 

"Whilst you can’t really look any further than the game that’s in front of you, you also have to see what carrot you’ve got further down the line. 

"Sometimes players might not look at that – they might not look further down the line. 

"You don’t want to take them too far forward but you have to show them this is what they could have won if they’d done this, or this is where they could have finished. 

"We don’t want to be saying, this is where we could have finished if we’d have done this, that and the other. We just have to do it in the next game. 

"The season is far from over. It's far from over. And to be honest, it won’t be over until that final whistle has blown at Lincoln for me. 

"I won’t change anything I do. And I want a good group of lads to enjoy what has, to date, been a really, really, enjoyable season if you just park the last few days. 

"If I am brutally honest, training hasn’t been very enjoyable this week. It's been hard work. 

"It’s not been the jolly place it normally is and that is understandably so. I get that.  

"What we have got to do is knuckle down, fight hard, play well when we get time and space and work to get a clean sheet on the back of last week. 

"We always know if we keep a clean sheet we have got a great chance of winning the game."

ON PLAYING PETERBOROUGH JUST A MONTH AFTER FACING THEM:

"My thoughts are don’t get done on set-plays – because we got done on two set-plays down there which was really disappointing. 

"The first thing is don’t give away silly free-kicks. And the second one is to get your head on it before their lad does – which is what we have done for most of the season. 

"That was disappointing to lose down there on a couple of set plays. 

"They have picked up. I think Darren (Ferguson) has gone in there and done a good job – after the other good jobs he has done previously. 

"I know him, I know him well. They will come here and be prepared, I have no doubt Ollie (Norburn) and Nathanael (Ogbeta) will want to do well coming back to their former club. It will be good to see them. 

"But this week really is about us. We know they are a good team. We are full of respect. But this week is about us, it’s not about who we are playing." 

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