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Club News

Gary Johnson's pre-Southport press call in full

13 August 2015

Boss looks ahead to Saturday's home match

Reflecting on Tuesday nights game with Aldershot and looking ahead to Southport:

We've picked up quite a few things that we need to make a note of. That's not public consumption though otherwise Southport will know what we're weak at. I'm sure they've done their homework and we've done our homework on them as well. At this stage of the season all teams are just trying to improve on their weaknesses. Sometimes it's individuals not quite playing well enough, sometimes it is your shape that is not quite right, whether you are attacking or you need to defend.
You have to work at all of that, all of the time and certainly at the start of the season, that's why you have to wait 10 games at the start of the season to really assess it. At that time you have to have your shape spot on, your personal spot on and then you go for the next ten and the next then and then hopefully you're up there competing.

On the individual efforts of the team:

I think they are all trying to win games for this football club, that's what they are trying to do.
In trying hard, and having that type of character in our team, sometimes they can thrash at something or not quite get onto something but the first thing you have to have is work rate and we have a fantastic work rate at the moment.
We have a good group of lads that want to win, that's what I'm asking for and that's what they're giving. 

On goal scoring and the near misses from Tuesday:

Sometimes it needs that cool calm head to stick the ball in the back of the net. we're getting closer, we hit the post three times and we had a header cleared off the line.
Then we had an offside goal that wasn't offside that we've checked on today. So unless they've brought something else into the offside rule that we don't know about, it wasn't offside. The one Amari Morgan-Smith headed in from Aaron Downes' knock-down. So i'm a bit disappointed about that now on reflection.

On the hopes for a more positive start to the season:

It's obvious that we wanted wins. The boys are showing me that will to win and then it's down to your ability to put those thoughts out onto the pitch.
Some people will grow in confidence and some will get better as they learn the level and as they get to learn a bit more about me, about their mates, about how important it is to this club.
That was mentioned at the end of the game, we have put in their hands this club's future and they have to be able to deal with that. I'm sure most of them will.
So two draws, which I think have both been really entertaining games for the neutral, unfortunately we're not neutral, we want to win. I think the supporters have seen a couple of good games.
It's just about getting those two goals, we seem to be defending our set plays much better now because we've worked on that but yeah it's about us improving every game and then the wins will come.

On the importance of the fans:

Well the fans can bring everything because they are the 12th man.
We've had a couple of sets of enthusiastic opposition fans. It was the drum and foghorn at Lincoln and the boys from Aldershot never stopped singing, they made it a real away trip.
Our supporters were good, we don't have a group of singers but they get behind the lads when the game picks up. So everybody needs everybody else. The players need the supporters and the supporters need the players to do something.

On the threats of Southport:

There are a few things that we'll need to work on in training today. it's difficult because you don't get much time when you're playing Saturday-Tuesday-Saturday.
We know what their strengths are and they're trying to bring in one or two more players. They've just brought in two or three players so obviously left it to bring in what they thought was a competitive team.
They picked up their first point on Tuesday against Macclesfield which is not a bad result, although Macclesfield did have a lad sent off after an hour.
So we won't take anybody lightly that's for sure. Every team will come to the World of Smile Stadium knowing that they're going to be up against a decent team.
We are still one of the bigger teams in this league so every game is a difficult one where you have to earn your win, including this Saturday.

On the extra pressure of being seen as one of the bigger teams:

We'll i'm 60 years of age soon and I've had 900 games so I don't think I'll be putting myself under any sort of pressure. I'll make sure i'll put that over to the boys.
Yes I will be truthful, if someone's had a bad game they'll know it, and I have told them that. If someone's doing well I'll tell them that too. But of course there's another 44 games to go so you can't get too involved with anyone yet. 

On Harry Pell's injury:

I think he's doing alright, it did look a bit dodgy. He's got massive calves anyway and they were double the size at half time. But credit to him he carried on. That will be a last minute thing for Saturday so we'll have to wait and see.
He was ill last week and still trained. So he's getting battered around about but he still comes up trumps wanting to play.

On potential changes to the starting XI:

The lads from the bench have done well so far, Asa of course has been out for a long time so I'm sure he hasn't quite got 90 minutes in him just yet so we're just nurturing him through.
I use the bench anyway, if I have to use them early I will. Josh Cooke came on with half an hour to go and sometimes that disappoints the person you're bring of.
But you want them to be disappointed, you don't want them thinking 'thank god he's taken me off'. If I take them off, i'll tell them why and it's normally because at that point they're not as effective as they were earlier in the game.

On getting that first win:

You don't want that stigma for too long where you're not winning games, you have to win games. If you draw every game you probably get relegated on 46 points.
You've got to get that winning feeling, we know we've got a winning game because of the number of chances we created, if something slightly different had happened we could of won both games so I'm not too bothered about that.
It's just about getting the shape right and individuals on top of their game. Both confidence wise and quality wise.

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