Interim Manager's Friday press briefing
We caught up with Interim Manager Dean Saunders at Friday morning's press briefing before the squad headed west to prepare for Saturday’s big game against Yeovil Town.
I guess the mood has been good in the camp this week following the win over Preston?
Very much so. There has been a noticeable spring in everyone’s step and I guess that applies to everyone connected with the club, including our fans, of course, who were brilliant last Saturday and who I’m sure will go to Yeovil tomorrow and really get behind their team.
But it’s just a start. We’ve got a busy period coming up with three games in a week and if we’re going to get anywhere we have to keep playing with the same intensity that we did last Saturday. You’re only as good as your last result, remember. Preston has given us a platform for us to build on.
What’s the latest on the injury front?
Some good news. Brian Jensen should be back with us next week - his hand has recovered quicker than expected. Josh Simpson is going to St Georges Park at Burton next week to step up his rehab but he’s still 3-4 weeks away. Dean Leacock has an outside chance of being ready for the Doncaster game on Tuesday.
Conor Henderson is still out and Matt Harrold has had a setback, he’s had to have an injection in his Achilles to settle it down. He won’t be available on Saturday.
How has Mathias Pogba settled in?
Really well. I was delighted to get him because other clubs were offering him a better deal but I know him well and hopefully that was a factor. He knows our situation in the league table isn’t great but he likes a challenge. He’s got a point to prove, he wants to get back on track and that can only benefit us.
He gives us more options up front. He can play wide right or left or through the middle and will give us more of a physical presence. He’s a bit like Emile Heskey, if you were asking for a comparison, but he scored 16 goals from wide positions for Crewe two years ago in this league.
We’re still waiting for his international clearance to come through so we don’t know yet if he is available for Saturday.
Gary Johnson left Yeovil on Wednesday. How do you expect that to affect their players?
Normally in those circumstances there is a boost and Terry Skiverton, who is caretaker manager, has done the job before and he’ll get them fired up. I feel for Gary, because he did an unbelievable job getting them into the Championship and they have had a lot of injuries this season. But, to be honest, all I’m concerned about is how we approach the game and what we do. As I said, training has been great this week but players often look good on the training pitch. It’s what happens at 3pm on Saturday that counts – that’s all that matters really.
How important was it that we kept Joe Walsh?
I have to give praise to the directors for that. There was some interest in him on transfer deadline day but the board weren’t interested unless they were serious offers so well done to them. Joe’s our captain and is massively important to what we are trying to do over the next three months to make sure we’re in this division next season.