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Club News

Captain Conor On Southend Clash

10 March 2016

Club News

Captain Conor On Southend Clash

10 March 2016

Ahead of this weekend’s clash with Southend United, captain Conor Hourihane spoke to the media about the challenge facing the Reds.

The Shrimpers have kept themselves in play-off contention with positive results in recent weeks and remain one of around nine teams fighting for a top-six place.

The midfielder is anticipating another tough game but feels the Reds can take another three points from their rivals.

“It’ll be a tough game and it has been down through the years when I’ve played them,” said Hourihane. “They always make it difficult for you to play, they're on a decent run but have been a little inconsistent.

“We’ve had a couple of those tough games ourselves recently in Walsall and Coventry but we’ve come through on the right side of those games.

“We’ll be looking for the same sort of result against Southend, they are a hard-working side but we’ll be looking to pick up the right result.”

It will also be a meeting of former friends for Hourihane as he faces off against some of his former teammates at both club and international level.

He added: “I know a couple of their players but I was injured when we played them at Roots Hall but Phil Brown has a tough set of lads and need to be on our game.

“I used to play with Will Atkinson at Plymouth while Cian Bolger, the centre-half, through the Irish setup he was with us for a couple of years.

“They’re good, honest lads but they will still be trying to get one over on us.”

The remarkable run the Reds are on has seen them lose only one game in all competitions since beating Blackpool on December 28.

“What we’re doing now is a bonus, considering we were rock bottom of the table around three months ago. Every time we win a game, I still think that’s us further away from the relegation zone.

“To say automatic promotion is a bit farfetched but everyone can dream I suppose.”

“The turnaround and the run we’re on is something we never thought we would do, all of a sudden we’re going to Wembley and people are talking about the play-offs.

“There’s a lot of happy faces in there but our feet are firmly on the ground because we know how bad it was.”

In addition to the run, a potential push towards the automatic promotion places has been helped by beating teams in and around their position.

But with Bradford winning on Tuesday evening, the race for a top six spot has become even tighter.

Hourihane maintained that the side are not worried about the teams in and around them and must remain focused on themselves and their performances.

“You can’t let it affect you around the business end of the season, it is going to get congested. There’s a few teams looking for the play-offs and we’re one of them.

“We just have to concentrate on ourselves and think about what we have to do. If you think of other teams and their results, you’re trying to control something you can't affect.

“We have to focus on what we can affect and that’s what we are doing here with hard-working days today and Friday, making us ready to go on Saturday,” the midfielder said.

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