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One More Time


We write this en route to Peterborough in what will probably prove to be a seminal day in the race for promotion. Jack Ross has prepared his players for the battle but admits that not everyone is pain free. “If you are one of those players who has played a lot of games and minutes, then the chances of you being pain or injury free at this stage of the season, it is not usually the case. A lot of them patch themselves up and get ready to go again. The adrenaline, being involved in these types of games, the atmosphere and the significance of the matches is what players need. A lot of them have experienced it and want more of it. If Charlie (Wyke), for example, looked as if he couldn’t have played on Friday then he wouldn’t have, but there is an element that while he had been ill, I’m sure the adrenaline he feels would have helped get him through it. We knew we had a tough schedule in April, and also that we were coming up against difficult opponents. But you look at the run-in for all the teams and there are no easy games, none of them have easy games. We know we are going to a team that has a lot to play for as well, there is a certain amount of pressure on them, they are at home. They had an opportunity to close the gap further if they hadn’t conceded late in the game (on Friday). Preparation time is tight for us, but we regrouped and started that prep on Saturday morning and have got ready to go again. We look forward to it, the players enjoyed the Doncaster win and it was a nice way for them to respond to last week.”

Ross needs to decide whether to stick with Alim Ozturk and Jimmy Dunne in the heart of defence or bring back Tom Flanagan and Jack Baldwin. Chris Maguire is also pushing for a start after returning from injury. “We will assess what is best for the game, alongside with who is right physically,” said Ross. “We have some that are patched up and getting through games. You also temper that at this stage of the season with players being determined to keep playing, they want to play because they know the significance of the game and want to contribute to us having a successful season.”

In other news, Alim Ozturk has been chatting about being patient and taking his chance when the opportunity arose. “I want to show the people who I am, and of course justify the confidence of the manager who gave me another chance. After a period like I have had, you have to train well and keep as fit as possible. I trained very hard every day, so I can show the people what I can do. That was not me at the start of the season, I was not really fit, with injuries and stuff. I feel really good now. The manager knows me as a person,” he added. “I will never give up. He knows that. I’m honest and it was not a great start for me, everyone knows that and I know that myself. I wanted to pay him back for that confidence in me and I tried to do that against Doncaster. The guys who played before me - Tom Flanagan, Jack Baldwin, Glenn Loovens before as well - I think they did really well. A game like (Coventry) can happen, of course you don’t want it to but it can. But, overall, they’ve done really well, so I just had to wait for my chance. That chance came (against Doncaster), and hopefully I took it. It was really enjoyable. My last game was January, a long time ago.I played the Checkatrade cup games, but that was about once a month. I’ve tried to keep as fit as possible so when the chance came, I was ready for it. It finally came and I think I did well. I’m very happy about that. We’re in a good position,” said Ozturk. “We don’t have to look at the other teams. It’s in our hands, although there is still a long way to go. It is only a short period left, but there are still a lot of games.”