United face Grimsby at Blundell Park on Saturday afternoon and we spoke to assistant head coach Gav Skelton about the game as the Blues continue to prepare for a double-header of tough away fixtures.
“Grimsby have kicked on a little bit under the new manager, Ian Holloway,” he said. “They had a bad result a couple of games ago, but they’ve bounced back again from that.
“They’ll be competitive, really at it, and they’re at home where their crowd is really buying into what’s happening there. They’ll definitely be up for it.
“It’s a stadium I like. It’s an old-fashioned ground, a bit like ours, a proper ground that has a bit of character and a bit of history. It’s important we go there to try to turn the atmosphere in our favour.
“We need to look to start in the same way did in the last two games and try and get our noses in front. It’s a good test but it’s one we got into with confidence.
“We go there in good heart and we have no illusions that it will be a really competitive game. But if we’re on the front foot and do the basics well, and like we keep saying, it gives us every opportunity to pick up some points.”
“Like I say, Grimsby are on a good run of form but so are we, and we’re desperate to continue it. I can’t understate how keen we are to keep winning games and finish as high up that table as we can.
“The good thing is that we’ve done the basics well in most games, and that gives you a platform. You can only play with freedom and confidence if you do the basics right. In football, you don’t reinvent the wheel, it doesn’t change, you just look to do things properly.”
And with the positive midweek result to build on, he told us: “We’ve picked up decent results away from home at different times this season, so we’ll be keen to continue that.
“I said after Tuesday that I thought we were really professional, without being as free-flowing as we would have liked. We created some good opportunities and we limited Newport to a couple of half chances, and we’re happy with that.
“With six points from a possible nine and a lot of games where we’ve been difficult to beat, it tells us that we’re going the right way. People can say that there’s nothing to play for, but that isn’t the case.
“We want momentum, we want to keep showing everybody what we’re about and we want three points every time we go out there. There’s been a lot of hard work done, but there’s more to do, and we want to finish the season properly.
“That means we have to go to places like Grimsby and Northampton and do the job as well as we can.”