Ross Craic

Despite the fact that we’ve only sold 22,000 tickets for the play-off semi against Pompey, Jack Ross thinks the atmosphere will be intense. “The fan base here has been, and I imagine always will be, incredibly loyal because they care about the club,” said Ross. “Having an expectancy of what the club should achieve is not a problem. I’m fortunate to be here at this club where the supporters always do come out in numbers and back us. But stripping it back to just my job, whether there’s 100 people in the stadium on Saturday, or whether there’s 49,000 in the stadium on Saturday, it doesn’t matter to how I do my job and how I motivate my players to win the game. If I can motivate the players and we can win the game it then gives the fans the reward they deserve for their support. For the last week I’ve probably became quite insular in that my focus has just been on making sure that the team are absolutely ready and anything else I’ve not been aware of. I’m not even sure how many tickets have been sold, or whatever it might be, it’s just been about making sure whatever team takes to the pitch on Saturday, they’re set up to go and win the game. I genuinely don’t think it makes any difference going into the play-off matches. They have a different feel and intensity around them. I can point back to these two games over the last two nights, in these two-legged ties where there’s a lot at stake, you look for performance levels from players, you look to approach the game in a certain way, but there’s a lot of emotion involved in it and emotion makes players do things that you can’t predict. I think Spurs and Liverpool are a nice example for people, and I’m not just saying this to deflect away from the responsibility of a manager or a coach, but it’s a nice reminder that we work in a sport that’s incredibly unpredictable and that’s why we watch it, and that’s why so many have commented in the last 48 hours saying they love football. Some of the best players in the world make decisions in high-pressure situations that they wouldn’t normally, but they get caught up in the emotion. Any communication from a team-mate or a manager on the sideline becomes nigh on impossible because of the noise inside a stadium during these games."