Reds Caretaker Head Coach Paul Heckingbottom spoke to the press ahead of Tuesday night’s match against Coventry, and gave his thoughts on an important game for his side.
A hard-fought victory away at Crewe means the Reds are within three points off a play-off place, which is currently occupied by Tuesday night’s opponents, and Heckingbottom reflected on the win at Crewe as well as the mind-set of the squad going forward.
“Another win and it proved to be a difficult game.” Heckingbottom said. “We thought we were really wasteful first half when we had some great opportunities, especially on the counter attack. It was just the final ball letting us down.
“We want to get better every game. We held the ball up well, then got up the pitch and caused them problems. We should have scored a lot more.
“It doesn’t have to be a target (play-off positions), we just want to win every game. We have three difficult games coming up again, with big teams home and away that are in an around us. They are just good games to play in and if we keep picking up points, people will keep talking about us.”
The Reds have been on a run of nine wins in 11 games, which has seen a huge rise up the table. Heckingbottom was keen to praise his squad, but at the same time he sent a clear message to keep everyone focused.
“It’s been a big achievement and long may it continue.” He explained. “We need that momentum, we’ve had to make changes to the team that were forced but we’ve kept winning games and causing problems for the opposition.
“It’s nice for the players to know they can do that, but they also need to know that as soon as they take their foot off it can go. Their hard work got them on this run and it’ll be their hard work that keeps us winning games.
“Because we have a lot of games coming up, all I think about is the next one and preparing for it. That’s all the mind can think about really. We’re not getting carried away, we just want to beat Coventry tomorrow night.
“It’s better to be talking this way rather than talking about teams down the bottom of the league as we did earlier in the season. Colchester away was billed as a massive game at the time and that seems a hell of a long time ago now. We’d much rather have it this way and keep things positive.”
Earlier on in the season, a thrilling match between the two sides finished 4-3 in favour of Coventry, so Heckingbottom reflected on that game as well as giving his thoughts on how the Reds can beat them.
“To be honest their season can be summed up with our game against them down there,” he said.
“They set off on fire against us and looked the best team we’d played at that point, but then we had nothing to lose and set about them. Second half, we gave them a tough game, and if you speak to them they’ll probably say that.
"They haven’t won as many games as they should have, but when they play well they are very very good but they haven’t been able to do it every game and that’s where they have had a few dodgy results.
“The run we’ve been on at home has been great. It’s down to the players and the fans, so we need to keep that feel good factor. Against Doncaster we tried to play with energy and tempo, and we’ll try that again tomorrow night.
“The fans react to that, they respond to it and likewise if things aren’t going 100% our way the fans have to dig in and get behind the players. They know how to do it, they’ve been doing it for years.”