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Lads will embrace tough run - Cox

14 November 2013

Manager Paul Cox wants our side to ‘get back to doing what they’re good at’ when second-placed Oxford United visit One Call Stadium on Saturday.

Saturday’s home encounter with the U’s starts a tough run of matches in Sky Bet League Two for our side, all of which take place in the next fortnight.

Next Saturday (23 November), we travel to table-topping Fleetwood Town, before we make the shorter journey to the Pirelli Stadium just three days later, to face Burton Albion.

We then face Morecambe, who currently occupy a Play-Off position, at One Call Stadium on Saturday 30 November.

“All of our next four games are big games,” said Cox.

“The quality in this league is consistent. There aren’t any easy games and every team we play will have something about them. 

“If you don’t give teams the respect they deserve, you will get punished – it’s as simple as that.

“We’ve travelled very far, very quickly in the last two-and-a-half years and sometimes, when you’re riding on the crest of a wave like we were earlier in the season, it’s very easy to subconsciously take your foot off the pedal.

“We need to get back to [doing] what we’re good at. We did that [last] Saturday and I think the scoreline didn’t reflect the overall game, because St Albans were a decent side.”

Cox continued: “But the pleasing thing is that away from the crowd, the boys have been working extremely hard.

“They’ve never showed any sort of attitude that would worry me. They’ve worked extremely hard every day and our team-spirit is brilliant.

“Every team go through little blips. We know that we’ve got a hard run between now and Christmas, but I’m sure the lads will embrace that.

“A massive thing is that we’ve also got good players coming back now,” added our boss.

“I could have bleated on about how many players we’ve lost through injury and suspensions, but we’ve just got our heads down and got on with it.”

Meanwhile, Cox was pleased with the displays of many players in a behind-closed-doors friendly with Bradford City earlier this week.

The clash, which took place here at One Call Stadium, saw the Bantams won 2-1, but according to Cox was ‘a really good and competitive game’.

He said: “Steve (Parkin, Bradford’s assistant manager) brought a very experienced side here and it was a really tough and competitive game.

“But that’s what I want. You don’t get players sharp and match-fit by wrapping them up in cotton wool. It was a good test for us and it has put the cat amongst the pigeons in terms of [my team selection] for Saturday.”

Finally, our boss revealed that he will be in attendance at Molineux next week, when Wolverhampton Wanderers and Oldham Athletic go head-to-head in their FA Cup with Budweiser First Round replay.

Our side will face the winners of that match in Round Two of the competition.

Cox added: “It’s a game that I’ll be taking in, just to make sure that we do our homework on both teams.

“There was someone at Notts County [to watch their game with Oldham] the other night, as we try and do things right here, to make sure that our preparation is good.

“But before [the FA Cup Second Round] we have some big games, and all we want to do is make sure that we are focussed and our mindset is right for Saturday.”

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