Manager hoping to go over the 60 point target on Saturday
John Ward knows his team will be heading for a tough game this weekend, when they take on a Torquay side desperate to avoid relegation.
Accrington Stanley came to the Memorial Stadium and took all three points to secure their survival last Saturday, and the manager is keen to make sure that doesn’t happen again.
He said: “It is going to be hugely competitive game, as Saturday’s was.
“It is interesting when you see our league table, that those teams fighting for points and places at the bottom of the league most of them all gained ground and points, so they are all really fighting.
“It disappoints me that we didn’t go over our 60 point target at home in front of over 7,5000 people on Saturday.
“It was a really good day that we spoilt, so we owe it to ourselves and the sell out away end on Saturday, as it is a big game for us also.
“It is a big day for a lot of clubs, and Torquay are one of them. But we have to go in the right mood to play for ourselves and for everyone else in the division.”
Whatever the result on Saturday, the manager believes his team can come back fro pre season full of positives.
He said: “In my previous spell here we got beat in the Play Offs by Huddersfield Town, and I was concerned about the start of the next season, but the players were fine and we put a good season together.
“Whatever the result at Torquay we will go into next season with positives.
“The players have grown up quite a lot and they are learning, even in defeat, and we have to help them push on.
“The pre season will start in a positive mood, as the club is in a better shape than it was six months prior to that.”
And the manager was full of praise for Michael Smith and Tom Parkes, who cleaned up with the player of the year awards.
John said: “They have been consistent factors; the one thing about the group has been the consistency of the back four, and they have been massive characters in that.
“They would be the first to tell you that they have been helped by the experience around them.
“The back five have been a strong unit, and those two fully deserve their awards and I am very pleased for them.
“When everybody is together, this football club has a chance of achieving something.
”The supporters there on Saturday were better than the team, and they stayed and respected the previous performances rather than Saturday’s. Everyone has pulled in the right direction.”
John also confirmed that Clayton McDonald will be heading back to Port Vale after picking up an injury on Saturday.
He said: “Clayton is going back to Port Vale for treatment, and I have thanked him for his efforts and his patience.
“Off the pitch he has been absolutely brilliant, he has been hugely supportive, and he goes with our good wishes.”
For the full interview, visit Gas Player.