Paul Goodwin spoke to James Coppinger ahead of this weekend’s game with Rochdale, discussing motivation for the last six games, the contrast in home and away form, the team’s mental toughness and the difference between this squad and the one that won League One in 2013.
PG: What’s the motivation from here on in, for you and the team?
JC: I think just to put in the best possible performance. It should be like any other game, I don’t think it’s any different.
Leading up to games you work hard on the training pitch to get yourself right for games and that shouldn’t change.
There’s six games to go for a lot of people who are out of contract to prove they are worth a contract.
It’s a chance for the young lads to impress too, with a view to next season.
PG: Is it a difficult place psychologically, after the last two results?
JC: It depends who you are, how you take it and what type of person you are.
It’s frustrating we haven’t been able to get results in the last two games that would’ve prolonged the season in terms of pushing for promotion.
PG: Frustration is the word at the moment. Can you put your finger on why it was so bad in the second half against Bradford and so different on Tuesday night.
JC: Goals change games. Goals change mentality. Conceding the first goal at that stage of the game was difficult because I thought in the first half we looked like we were going to score and we had chances and a penalty shout.
I thought if anyone was going to score it was going to be us. So we were going out second half thinking we’ve done a good job but to concede in the manner we did and to start the second half the way we did was frustrating and disappointing.
To then go and play at Sheffield United on a pitch that, I don’t know, it just seemed to suit us, there was a lot of grass on it, wider pitch.
Obviously people ask me why our away form is different to our home form and no one can sort of put their finger on it, but I don’t know if the pitch does play a part, I don’t know if the atmosphere plays a part.
PG: Well you’re thinking about it James, so it sounds like it’s playing a part.
JC: Exactly. I just think it’s been happening for a couple of seasons now. It’s obviously something that’s different at home to what it is away because players seem to perform better away from home than what they do at home, so hopefully we can look at that and address that.
PG: Do you need to be mentally stronger as a team next season?
JC: Definitely. I spoke to the manager about playing a certain way and sticking to it, maybe. Don’t be as naive to think every game is going to be the perfect game, thinking every game you can pass the ball like we did against Sheffield United. In this division it’s one or two of them games in ten. The rest it’s about doing all the basics properly which we haven’t done this season.
PG: It’s that comparison again with the team from two years ago.
JC: Yeah, exactly. The two promotions we got, one was playing total football, the other one wasn’t. We won the league and Bournemouth came second that year. The contrast in teams was unbelievable, but we went to Bournemouth and beat them 2-1 and just did the basics right throughout the whole season. That’s what wins you promotions and gets you success. Over time you try and improve that and the way you play, but first and foremost you have to do all the basics properly.