Here are the key points from his pre-match press conference:
Josh Bowler is getting close. He’s been out on the pitches with the fitness coaches and is looking better. Herbie Kane is probably a couple of weeks away, the same as Reece Burke, Jordy de Wijs and Jon Toral. Josh is the closest to coming back and maybe if we can get him back on the pitches (with us) next week he might have a chance for Charlton but he’s been out for a bit of time now so he’s going to need some conditional work to get him up to speed.
We’ve been delighted with Angus and he was gutted when the Under-23s game got called off last week because of a waterlogged pitch. He’s had at least three weeks now with us on the pitches and he’s in a good place. He’ll play a part in the Under-23s on Friday along with one or two others. It’s a massive step for Angus from where he was three or four months ago. He’s looking great. He puts everything into training every day and he’s an inspiration for everybody really – the fact that he’s come through what he has come through and now he is going to be playing his first game for well over a year. The way he has bounced back is a credit to him. He’ll play 45 minutes tomorrow. It’s important that we ease him in.
There’s a lot of signs gone up around the training ground about washing hands for longer than usual but there’s nothing over the top. It’s just about making sure that everyone stays hygenic.
The players are good and they’re in a good place. We’ve had a good week and we’ve mixed it up a little bit. We trained at a different venue in the early part of the week and it was good to get them all together and do some different stuff with them. We took them to St George’s Park and it was something different for them. It was a good opportunity to do that with ten games to go. Psychologically it’s sometimes nice to take the group and do something different and I’m thankful that the Club has allowed us to do that. We came back into Cottingham today and it has been a good week. We’re only looking forward. What’s done is dusted and we’re only looking to be as positive as we can. With ten games to go, my message to the players is how many can we win? We focus on the next one which is Stoke and that is going to be a tough game but we feel confident and in a good place that we can go there and put in a good performance.
Every game is big. People will dress it up as a six-pointer and things like that but we don’t. It’s the next game and the next one that we want to go and perform in to try and get a result. We’ve been working hard this week to get everybody focussed and ready for Saturday. The experience that these young boys are getting at this time – I’m really excited about the future of this football club with them. Just because we’ve lost some games recently doesn’t mean we rip the play-book up and do something different that we haven’t done all season. We’re focussed on making sure we deliver a good performance.