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Club News

Johnson on Fleetwood Town

22 October 2015

Reds Head Coach Lee Johnson called on the fans to be the twelfth man ahead of this weekend’s clash with Fleetwood Town at Oakwell.

After a 2-0 defeat to Walsall, Johnson called on his fans to rally the side and help them end their four-game losing run.

He said: “The fans have been good and we’ll need them on Saturday to be the twelfth man, encourage everybody and get behind them which we will.

“We were well in the game on Tuesday, we had the better chances up to 1-0 and conceded two poor goals, something we’ll have to address.

“I thought we gave it a go at 1-0, but confidence and the atmosphere drained a little bit at 2-0 but the players have to keep going.”

The Cod Army visit Oakwell for only the second time in their history on Saturday and the Head Coach feels it will be another tough game for the Reds.

Johnson added: “We’ll look at them and try and exploit their weaknesses but it’s a big game for us and for them and we have to go into it very positive."

It will also be a meeting of old friends as Johnson faces off against his former captain, Steven Pressley.

The pair played together at Hearts and the Reds Head Coach outlined his admiration for his opposite number.

Lee evaluated: “Steven Pressley is a good mate of mine and after a poor result in his first game, they had a fantastic win against Burton.

“He was my captain when we were at Hearts and he dealt with a difficult situation there and he did so very well and he’s a good man.

“I had no doubt he’d become a manager and he has been successful so far and he’s managed to get a good job in Fleetwood.”

Ben Pearson will be missing this weekend after picking up a suspension in midweek and Johnson assessed Ben’s importance to the side so far this term.

“It’s disappointing because Ben has been one of our top three players so far this season,” Lee added. “On Tuesday, he and Josh Scowen worked hard and did everything they could to turn our fortunes around.

“It’s a big loss but we have people like Paul Digby chomping at the bit, Dan Crowley and Louis Wardle can all play in central-midfield so we have options but we’ll patch up and crack on.”

With Pearson missing, there is a chance for other players to step up to the plate, but the Head Coach was keeping his cards close to his chest.

“There’s the opportunity for some lads that might not have had a go,” he said. “I’m not going to reveal who’s fit and who isn’t but we know early and have a couple of days to work on a system to press.

“A couple might come back late so we are a little depleted at the minute but that’s football. A couple of players might get promoted from the reserve team.”

Without a win in four League One games, Johnson asserted he still has faith and believes strongly in his crop of players.

He assessed: “We’re not in bad shape just in an unfortunate patch and I still believe massively in the group, I do feel we need another one or two of the right ilk to aid the group and benefit everybody else.

“I’m lower than anybody when we lose a game but I bounce back quicker than anybody as well because of my desire and courage to do well for the club.

“We just haven’t been able to get those couple which could be the important ingredients. We will but it might take a window or two.

"With our best 11 out we’re a match for anyone in this division and where we have fallen short is the experience element and that will grow.”

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