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Howarth: We Must Maintain Focus

15 November 2012

Assistant Manager Neil Howarth looks ahead to this weekend's clash against Rotherham

Neil Howarth speaking to the media on Thursday, as the team prepare for Saturday's match against Rotherham...

"We've been able to re-group and rest a couple of tired bodies and to be able to do it off the back of a good win last week was good timing.

"Both the sides had two tough games the week before. We'd been down to Gillingham, the league leaders, and did very well and down to Plymouth on a Wednesday night 24 hours later which is perhaps an argument for two tired teams but it certainly didn't look like that against Burton. I thought we were excellent. I thought from the first minute we were doing all the pressing, probing and pushing but
couldn't quite break them down, but at half time we said just keep doing more of the same and eventually we'll get a goal and that proved to happen.

"We've got a tough month. We've got four points from two games which we're pleased with but Rotheram away is as hard as they come.

"It's always a difficult game and they've got a new stadium, they want to get promoted and they're a big club in our league. They've got great backing, great support and money behind them. They've got a manager who has had success when he's had money at clubs in the past. They have a good home record but had a bad result against Port Vale and another against Dagenham, but their record at home this season is different to their away form and it's going to be a tough game, that's for sure.

"Steve (Evans) likes getting players in who have good physical qualities and are talented as well. He did that really well at Crawley and he's trying to do that at Rotherham at the moment.

"We've come across Steve Evans a few times over the years and he is the kind of character you do have arguments with, but away from the press side you can have a decent conversation wth him so I'm sure there are no issues and I'm sure there're no issues Steve's end, and whatever happened last year won't happen again.     

"It's all about being professional and keeping focused and getting on with your job. Some people, though not saying Steve Evans does, but some can try and take your focus away from where you want to be directing it, but you've got to rise above what may or may not happen and be as professional as you can.

"I think looking at the season as a whole, you can pick certain people out and Scott Brown is on a good run of clean sheets and having an excellent season and every credit to the gaffer as well, being shortlisted for the Manager of the Month award - it's great news for the club.

"Lawson (D'ath) won't be fit and we need to speak to Reading regarding his situation to see when he will be fit or whether we'll be able to keep him on loan so that's something to keep our eye on. Hary Hooman returned from his loan spell at Bath with a slight groin problem so he won't be be available either, but apart from those two Weso is doing a great job.

"We have a small squad but within the squad we have some great players who have some great talent. Whoever the gaffer decides to pick on Saturday, I'll be backing him and whichever team we can put out I'll be happy with.

"We defended really well in the second half against Gillignham and we really had to dig in in but it does start with Chris (Zebroski), Jermaine (McGlashan) and Kaid Mohamed. People may see the goals they score and their tricks and skills but first and foremost they put a shift in."

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