Graham Kavanagh ahead of the Crawley game
Manager Graham Kavanagh spoke to us ahead of the Crawley game on the 12:49 Virgin Trains Glasgow to London service on Monday afternoon.
“We go into this week knowing exactly what we need to do,” he said. “We have to play with no fear, that’s the first thing, and we have got to go to Crawley to attack the game. We need three points from it and that’s where our focus is at this moment in time.
“We sat the lads down and spoke to them ahead of our training session this morning and we talked about the fact that fear is something which can really affect your game. If you allow it to creep in too much you aren’t able to perform at the levels you know you’re capable of so, first and foremost, we need to get that out of our minds.
“I want the lads to be relaxed and focused on the job we need to do. We need to be aggressive in our approach and be prepared to take chances. I want them to get out there and express themselves and, when we create chances, we definitely need to be putting them in the net.”
“We’re at that stage where it is now do or die,” he agreed. “As far as I’m concerned it’s still all to play for. Saturday was the last opportunity where it was still in our hands and we knew, once we lost, that was no longer the case.
“I think we played with that burden on our shoulders and there seemed to be the worry of the consequences of what would happen if we were relegated. Once Oldham scored we started to take risks and get forward, and that’s what we need to do on Tuesday and Saturday. The next two games need big characters who are prepared to take responsibility. I’m hoping we have that within the group.”
“We felt sorry for ourselves after the game on Saturday but that’s been and gone now,” he told us. “I want to see a reaction and I want the players to be full of energy and excitement. I don’t want to see a fear of relegation because there’s no point in that. The worst thing any of them can do is reflect on it in a few weeks time and feel they could have done more.
“It’s out of our hands now but we will give ourselves another opportunity if we can win tomorrow night. We can then go into the last game of the season knowing another win could keep us in this league. We want to have other teams looking over their shoulders and the only way to do that is to get the three points.”
“Nacho [Novo] will be out because he’s done his hamstring,” he confirmed. “He wanted to give himself every chance but he isn’t going to be ready. We have some decisions to make but we’ll see what we do with it all ahead of the game.
“Our fans are incredibly passionate and we know they’ll be there with us again, however far the journey is. They are incredibly loyal and supportive and they’ve been outstanding this season. They’ve given me a bit of stick, at times, but you expect that and I will say that the players are desperately keen to put this right.
“There is no way we will lie down and accept defeat at Crawley. Hopefully we will see a performance full of work rate and intelligence so that we do come away with the result.”