Manager John Ward faced the press this morning and here are just a few of his thoughts.
The full interviews can be seen on Gas Player, and more, especially his comments regarding the youth team, will appear online later this week.
The manager said that he thought his side played better at Bradford last Tuesday than they did against Southed on Saturday, but praised his players for the way they have stuck to their task and climbed to table since his arrival.
“The time seems to have passed very quickly, and we are delighted we have pulled away from the bottom of the table
“We always set a target of 60 points, rather than the 50 point mark that is usually regarded as the number required to guarantee safety. At the moment we are a point short of our target, with two games to go.
“Looking at the last two matches, I thought we played better at Bradford in midweek than we did at Southend, where we appeared to be a little ‘shot shy’. It’s true that we didn’t have loads of chances, but we seemed to want to score a more perfect goal and there’s no such thing. I think we got away with it a bit, which is what I said after the game, while on Tuesday I think conceding four goals against Bradford City was a little bit harsh.”
The manager also spoke about the inexperience of his squad.
“It’s true, we do have a young and inexperienced side and even our captain is only 21. If we learn and get better, I can retain patience with them because I still have to see if they can improve.”
Parkes was referred to as a ‘Roy of the Rovers’ character by Ward in his post-match press conference at Roots Hall.
“Tom is all over the place. If you recall, Roy was a comic book hero, who scored goals, cleared shots off the line, was carried off the pitch injured, but was always ready for the next game.
“Sometimes Tom has to calm his game down, especially when he is in midfield, but I would never, ever, criticise his approach, his attitude, or his desire and that’s one of the reasons he is captain, because he wants to do as many things as he can.
“He has more discipline when he plays at the back, and he is a very good central defender. When he plays in midfield he probably thinks he has to defend, to get on the ball, shoot, and get up and down the pitch and do all of that on his own!
“However I don’t regard that as a fault, and if he can temper that down and chooses the right times to go and when to stay, then we still have a very, very, good player with us.”