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WARD - STILL 6 POINTS TO PLAY FOR

18 April 2013

Manager on next two games

With two games left to go Rovers face two sides who still need to pick up points to make sure they are mathematically safe and playing league football next season.

For that reason manager John Ward says his team owe it to other sides in the league to put out his strongest side and make sure his team play the best football they are capable of.

In addition to that, it is also important to John that his side finish as high as they can for the supporters.

He said: “Accrington have picked up eight away wins, which is terrific at any level. That said we have a very good home record, so there is a really good game on the cards.

“They still need to make sure they are in good shape to play league football next season, and we owe it to ourselves and everyone else in the division to put on as good a performance as we can. 

“Even though we are safe we still have a lot to aim for.

“I have got to have respect for all the clubs who are in the pack at the bottom of the division; we are playing two clubs who are still looking for points to make sure they are safe.

“So I have to be respectful and try and pick my best side. We need to do well for ourselves a sixty point target, and I know we are only one point away, but there are six points to play for, so I want to get to sixty and get over it.”

John hopes that Saturday will be a day to celebrate how far Rovers have come in the last few months.

He said: “It is a celebration day of finishing midtable, and when you remember where we were it is a strong achievement from the team to get us in this position.

“I want the supporters to come and get behind the team and the team to do work their hardest and then we can say well done to each other, as it has been a collective effort from everybody.”

The manager travelled up to Carlisle to see the youth team pick up the Youth Alliance Cup on Wednesday.

He said: “They have had a good season and we have got some good young players. They have worked very hard all season and got a good reward at Carlisle.

“The conditions at Carlisle were very difficult, but the boys knew how to play the conditions, that will stand them in good stead for the future.”

Two players have put pen to paper this week – Michael Smith and Matt Harrold, and the manager is pleased that things are starting to come together. 

He said: “Michael has done very well and his response to being in the side and training every day has been spot on and I am very pleased that he has signed on for another two years and I think the supporters are as well.

“He has room for improvement, but he wants to improve, and I think he has already got better. 

“I know Matt and I have seen him work since I have been here. He has a reputation and he is bashing my door down to try and play before the end of the season and I am shutting it in his face and telling him to look after himself.

“We think we have got a good experienced senior striker there, which will be like a new signing for us.

“We are getting results now with the offers we made a while ago to the players. It is on-going and it is down to the players.

”We have made what we believe are good offers to these players, and they now know that we are a league club next year and trying to improve.

“We have made those overtures to the lads out of contract, and it is up to them now. 

“I would prefer to be looking at bringing in a handful of new faces rather than a big influx of people, and I think that will be the case.” 

For the full interview visit Gas Player.

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