Chris Wilder's notes from today's matchday magazine
Boxing Day is always a special occasion in the football calendar and there should be a good crowd here today as we take on Plymouth Argyle. Thank you for coming along and a warm welcome to John Sheridan and his Plymouth team who will be doing their best to ruin the party atmosphere this afternoon.
There have been a number of big games here over the years and I think a large crowd is something that the players usually raise their game for. We get fantastic support home and away every week so I think today’s crowd will spur the players on. I thought you were fantastic here at the last home game against Dagenham and really made a big difference.
We had dominated the first half and I was disappointed to only go in level at the break despite playing so well. In the second half we kept the tempo up and continued to play well and I felt the crowd start urging the team forward at a crucial stage of the game. Dave Kitson headed a winner from a great cross from David Hunt and that win was down to the belief and passion that came from the fans and the players.
Those qualities have given us a decent first half of the season and we come into today’s game in a strong position. There have been some excellent performances along the way; right from the first game at Portsmouth we have been positive and done well and to be where we are in the league and still be involved in the FA Cup is very encouraging. You all know what I am going to say though don’t you? That’s right: don’t get carried away!
I was asked about the Christmas games and how difficult it is to play so many games in such a short space of time. My answer was the same as it always is. Our attention is 100 per cent on the game in front of us, in this case today’s match against Plymouth. Once that is out of the way we will recover properly, take the positives, and then move on to the next. It is a simple enough philosophy and so when people start getting too far ahead and thinking about what might happen my answer is always the same. We have done well but we are not quite half way yet, so nobody is going to get over-excited with so much football still to play.
One positive is the news that Ryan Williams will be with us for the second half of the season. Ryan has done very well since joining on loan from Fulham and been a great addition to the squad. We are grateful to Fulham for agreeing to extend his stay here. They know that he is at a good club with good people around him and can see that he is gaining experience with every game he plays. From our point of view we get a very exciting player with a great attitude to help us try and keep moving forward.
Finally, on behalf of the management and coaches I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas. Get behind the team today and let’s make this a Boxing Day to remember.