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Pre Port Vale | Steve Cotterill

9 February 2023


Pre Port Vale | Steve Cotterill

9 February 2023

Steve Cotterill previewed Town's upcoming fixture against Port Vale at the Meadow on Saturday.

The game, for which over 7,000 tickets have been sold so far, could see Town pick up their sixth successive league win.

It's been a month where the team spirit has really shone through for Town, with flawless results backing up the team's brilliant attitude that they've had all season. 

Striker Ryan Bowman has scored the winning goals in both of Town's last two games, with Crystal Palace loanee Killian Phillips assisting both times.

The boss discussed all of the above while also providing an update on Matt Pennington, who missed last weekend's game with a knock.


"I'm really pleased for Ryan. He's had a tough five or six months this season really. I don't think his form had been as good as it has been in the past month or so in training. All credit to him.

"Everyone is pleased for him. Sometimes people have things going on in their lives that can affect them (not saying that's the case with Ryan) but we're delighted that he's back and in form.

"His character has always been good but you can lose focus in life and I think he had lost that little bit of focus in the early part of the season. But he's had that back for a little while now and his performances of late when he's come on have been very very good.

"We're pleased for him. He's one of the lads we've bought in and when you think about what we paid for him, £80,000 or so, that's not bad for a striker in this league."


"I have been impressed with Killian. I think one thing Killian gives in midfield is something we haven't had much of but it's that physical presence - you certainly wouldn't want to bump into him!

"He's a big unit and as with Streety (Rob Street), the (Crystal) Palace lads, I've spoken about it before but I think Paddy McCarthy does a really good job with them and Mark Bright comes to see him and Streety on a regular basis so we've done very well out of Crystal Palace so far.

"Killian's come in and has fitted right in. He's a great lad. I thought his assist last week for Ryan Bowman was incredible. For such a big man, the deft touch to flick it over the defender and the rest was history, it was a great finish by Ryan."


"We probably haven't got time for that. There's a lot that goes into that. Coming together is only the beginning, keeping together is progress and working together is success. 

"Keeping together, that middle bit, is quite often what trips people up. I might not accept you for what you are and you might not accept me for what I am. What I mean by that is that we all have faults, but what you have to do is look past the faults and find the good in the person you're sitting next to or playing next to. Keeping together can trip people up but what these lads have done, from the coming together, going away in pre-season I thought was so, so important. Going out to Spain was a real bonding exercise - that was really important for us as a group.

"Keeping together is about working hard when you're not in the team and I mean on the field and off the field, at the training ground. Be giving towards the group because nine times out of 10, everybody will be good to you when you come in because you've been so good when you've been out of the group. We're really really lucky with that - we have that. Whilst someone may be sad if they're left out one week, when kick-off comes they drop their egos and fight for each other."


"It's always important. Teams who struggle invariably haven't got the right dressing room. Getting the right dressing room together can take you a long way and nine times out of 10, when a manager leaves a club or gets sacked, it's because the dressing room wasn't right. Of course sometimes the manager isn't right at that time but that's the key to any successful team."


"He's better. We still need to see (if he's fit for this weekend) but he's better."


"As they've only got one end, we need our three sides to be loud. We need our supporters to get behind us this week and cheer every tackle, every throw-in, everything that goes on. Hopefully our three sides will be very vocal."


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