Richie: Plenty to play for

Tue 12 Mar 2013

Image by : James Boardman

Play-off incentive as Reds head to Yeovil

Richie Barker believes there is still plenty to play for as Reds enter the last quarter of the League One season and that means a push for the play-offs.

Although Saturday's goalless draw left us in 13th place, we are only seven points off seventh-placed Bournemouth with two games in hand.

But the boss acknowledged that if we are to challenge for the top six we need to get two good results from the forthcoming away games at Yeovil and Walsall and find that cutting edge in front of goal.

With that in mind, the arrival of Paul Hayes on a month's loan from Brentford could not have been better timed. The 29-year-old trained today and then travelled to the south-west with the squad early this afternoon.

Richie said: "It's a big week and if we can get good results in our next two games and claw back some of the advantage other teams have on us then we can really push on.

"We have an idea among the players and staff of the number of games we need to win. Even if we got to the last week of the season and knew that three wins from our last three games would get us into the top six we would still fancy our chances.

"We have to be positive. Bringing a new face into the group in someone as experienced at this level as Paul can only help and he has settled in straight away and looked really lively in training this morning when we did a good session despite the snow."

Reds lost to a last-minute own goal against Yeovil in October but Richie says there is no reason why we cannot turn the tables at Huish Park on Tuesday night.

"They have had a tremendous season and all credit to (manager) Gary Johnson and his players. They have a striker in form in Craig Madden and any side who have a 20-goal-a-season forward are always going to be in contention.

"But we felt a bit hard done by when they beat us up here and it would be nice to get a good result down there. In terms of our defence and midfield I have no complaints about our recent performances. We just need that bit extra up front and hopefully Paul will provide that."

There has been no snowfall in Somerset and Yeovil have covered their pitch to protect it against cold temperatures predicted for tonight.

Reds Player subscribers can watch Richie's pre-match video here, when he also talks about the arrival of Paul Hayes.

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