Charlie's Cup Challenge

Charlie “Charles” Wkye reckons he’ll have to be on his toes to keep his place in the first team as Jack Ross looks to strengthen the forward line this month. Wyke, who has had to battle his way through injury to getting his chance in the starting eleven, also admits he has to be a bit more potent in front of goal or risk losing his spot: “I have had to work hard in every game and training session now to try to stay in the team. If I’m not in the team, I have to work as hard as I can to get back in there and hopefully take my chance when it comes. The manager kept mentioning me coming back, so no pressure there then eh? The gaffer’s always been good with me. He’s spoken to me a lot about how he wanted me to come back, and I’ve done a lot of work in the last few weeks to get there. Even before I came back playing, I’d done four or five weeks of intense training. I’m ready to come back now, and I think the gaffer has managed me really well.”

Talk then turned to the Checkatrade trophy quarter final tonight. With the club only two games away from Wembley, Wyke is keen on a return, having been there with Bradford: “I’ve played at Wembley before with Bradford in the League One play-off final. Obviously, it didn’t go how I would have wanted, it didn’t go our way, but it was a great occasion. Every game we play, we want to win, we have to look at it as a chance to win another game. If we do get to Wembley, obviously it’ll be a great occasion for the club."

Meanwhile Jack Ross admits that he’s not sure what kind of Man City team will turn up tonight, but he’s made sure he’s done his homework on their style of play: “Personnel-wise, it's difficult to know who they will bring because they have a lot of players and other fixtures this week," explained Ross. "But they have a manner of playing that is very consistent, it's very much aligned with the way their first-team play, so that helps you to prepare. And also there is such a wealth of information and footage available nowadays that it becomes relatively straightforward. They have talented players who are schooled in playing a certain way, but we will treat the game in the same way as we have done every game in this competition this season. The strength City have as a club is they are able to attract the best of the best in every age group, so there will be a lot of talented players on the pitch. But we have talented players too and they have proven that they can handle life as a professional footballer over a significant period of time and that is a different skill. It'll be challenging. It won't be a straightforward, easy, game because of the talent Man City have at their disposal but we have the chance to get back to winning games and then go into this mini-break in a positive frame of mind."

The gaffer insists he will still use his squad to good effect, as he has in previous rounds, but with the added bonus of no game this weekend, he doesn’t have the headache of having to rest too many: "In each and every game in the Checkatrade Trophy we have used the squad in the most sensible way. We will be able to utilise a good chunk of the squad because we don't have a game on Saturday, which helps. We have also got quite a few bumps and bruises from Saturday and there a few doubts for us to consider. At this stage of the competition, naturally we want to keep on progressing."

In other news, Aston Villa misfit Ross McCormack has admitted he was close to signing for the Lads in the summer. The 32 year old, who has been plagued with problems both on and off the pitch, reckons it just came down to money in the end: “I was literally at the training ground to sign and for money reasons - I think Aston Villa maybe wanted more than what Sunderland could pay - that was it and I went home."