Chris Wilder's notes from today's matchday magazine
As we go into Easter we have six games left, and six games to go and win. That has been our message to the players all week. Our standards haven’t slipped over the last two games, even if the results have not been what we were looking for. The standards we expect have not changed despite those results.
It has been well documented in the press what I have said about those games. I saw a headline saying ‘Scandalous’ but that wasn’t to lose to a decent Northampton side, it was referring to not scoring or picking up a point despite playing so well. I feel for the players because they put a lot of effort into that game, and the one against Chesterfield, and to come away without a point is really disappointing.
From our point of view we have to look forward not back and we know we have to be more clinical in and around the final third. We had fantastic support at Northampton in atrocious conditions, ones which suited the opposition. The attitude that the players showed was first class. I believe we have played pretty well over the last two games but now we need to keep playing well and put the finishing touch to that and win.
The players have to take a bit of responsibility and that includes everyone on the pitch, not just those at the top end. We know they will do that and respond to a setback in their usual positive manner. From Monday to Friday we are doing enough in terms of coaching, practice and shape to get the players ready for games. I think fans realise that in any sport the most difficult part is performing under pressure at the crucial time. Look at the England cricket team this week, where big players stepped up under the most intense of pressure. Over the last few years we have lifted ourselves when we needed to and now we need to do it one last time this season.
It will not be easy against a good Morecambe side. Their manager is still in the early part of his career but he is doing a great job and wants to win every game. I respect that and I know he will want to walk away with a win today and to finish the season as high as possible. I may have a touch more experience but have the same aims today and for the coming games. We all want the same things and whoever we face we will go right to the end. Our standards will not slip and we have to keep going forward.
There are still 18 points to play for and I want to come into our next home game, a week on Saturday, still fighting. It’s a massive week for us and we will need your support once again. I thought it was a fantastic effort up at Northampton in those conditions and would like to thank you all for travelling with us and urge you to get behind the team today.
While we are totally focussed on our own job this weekend we also wish Richie Blackmore and his Ladies every success in their game here tomorrow. As we have always said, it is great to see any team wearing the famous yellow shirts doing well and let’s hope everyone representing the club has a memorable Easter weekend.