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Interviews

INTERVIEW: We want more wins

Gav Skelton on a free weekend and the second half of the season

9 January 2023

Interviews

INTERVIEW: We want more wins

Gav Skelton on a free weekend and the second half of the season

9 January 2023

It always feels strange whenever a free weekend crops up, and even more so after the festive period where you can go from steady build-up to frantic activity within the space of a few days, as it was for the Blues once the week of fixtures between Boxing Day and New Year’s Day kicked in.

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“I think it feels strange through the festive period anyway because you never know what day it is,” assistant manager Gav Skelton told us. “With no game for us this weekend just gone you just have to deal with it, and once we’re back in next Monday we’ll be into the routine and the Saturday-Tuesday games that follow.

“All you can see that as is that it’s really exciting. We like playing here and we’ve got some really good home games coming up.

“The fans have been brilliant, they really get behind us, and we’ll need that again with the way the fixtures come thick and fast. It’s an important time of year for us.”

With a high number of games in such a short space of time it throws up a real opportunity to lay down a marker with plenty of points up for grabs.

“If you can get a good run of results you can build the points up and get to where you want to be in the league,” he agreed. “It’s an opportunity for us, but that’s always the same whenever you play your games. They’ll be coming thick and fast towards the end of the month and we’re looking forward to it.

“It would have been good to have had a game right away after Doncaster but, like I say, we can’t do anything about it. That’s why we look at Newport as the chance for us to put the disappointment of last weekend right because it is our next game.

“We always turn everything into positives, so we do our work and make sure we’re ready for whenever the next game is. The good thing is that even in defeat on Sunday we stayed in it, and that’s so important. We don’t look like a team that’s lacking resilience and that’s really pleasing.”

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And the work done so far has put the team in an excellent position with everything to play for.

“We’d have taken being where we are now at the start of the season, if we’re being honest, but we’ve said a number of times that we feel there’s more to come from us,” he insisted. “We look back and we know there’s been games when we could have had a point or even a win when we’ve drawn or lost.

“Hopefully we’ll improve on that through the second part of the season and we’ll keep adding to the points total. That’ll mean we’re getting closer to where we want to be.

“We want to achieve the consistency that will put us on a really good run. I know we’ve had long periods where we haven’t lost many, but we want more wins.

“It might be boring to hear but the next game is always the most important. If you treat it that way you don’t get carried away, and hopefully it stands us in good stead.”

“We’ve got a good points total, the league table tells us that, but I don’t think we’ve hit our maximum levels yet,” he continued. “In terms of performances we have much more to come as far as I’m concerned.

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“That means we have to work even harder to get to that. There’s a possibility we’ve gone under the radar a little bit through the first half of the season, so teams will raise their game when they play us for a second time. We need to be ready for that as well.

“The exciting thing is I do feel we’re capable of dealing with that, especially if we keep people fit. I think we’ve done remarkably well as a group to get the points total we have with the injuries and disruption that can cause.

“If we can keep people fit and get on a run, that’s when we’ll be giving ourselves a real chance.”

And are the group aware of the opportunity they’ve created for themselves?

“I certainly hope they are,” he responded. “You don’t get loads of opportunities in this game so when you’ve put yourself in a strong position you want to carry it on.

“It comes down to the commitment on and off the pitch and the way you apply yourself to everything you do. We talk to everybody about sticking together regularly, and if you want to achieve something you do have to make sacrifices.

“It’s a 10 or 11-month season, but if you do it right the rewards are great. There’s nothing like having something to show for the work you’ve done, but you have to earn it by doing it properly all the way through.

“Part of that togetherness comes from the fans, and they’ve been beyond amazing home and away. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that we’ve had noisy followings like Crewe, Hartlepool, Salford and Tranmere and we’ve performed and scored goals in front of them.

“We’ve had some fantastic backings, and they have such an impact on the way the lads react to situations within games.

“We’re really grateful for it and I’m sure they can see the lift they give us when they get right behind us. Everyone ends up enjoying it more, so it all goes hand in hand.”


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