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Cox on season's expectations

21 October 2013

Manager Paul Cox discussed expectation levels during his pre-match press conference, ahead of our trip to Bury tomorrow night.

Our team travel to Gigg Lane, sitting on the fringes of the Sky Bet League Two Play-Off zone, with just over a quarter of the campaign played.

“I think we’ve been victims of our own success in the early parts of the season,” said Cox.

“If we were third from bottom, we could be talking about a lot of areas where we could get better at, and everyone would be looking at the game differently.

“What we have done is acclimatised [to this division] probably quicker than people thought we would, and expectation levels have risen. People want more, which is only human nature.

“If we were top of the table, some of our players wouldn’t be playing at this level and I probably wouldn’t be managing at this level, because when that happens, the ‘big boys’ start coming in for you.

“We’re in a good position, in eighth place and three points off the top. If someone offered us that at the beginning of the season, I’d have bitten their hand off.

“Are there going to be erratic performances [during the course of the season]? Absolutely. But going back, the two poor performances were both after the Chesterfield games, which took a lot out of us.”

Our boss also reflected on Saturday’s 0-0 stalemate at Torquay United, which extended our unbeaten away run in Sky Bet League Two to five matches.

“Saturday’s performance was a good away performance. We went away, were solid, and came away with a clean-sheet and a draw,” said Cox.

“If you looked at the fixtures at the beginning of the season, a lot of people would have said that if we came away [from Torquay] with a point, it’s a good one.

“We know that we have got to improve in areas and know that if we want to be competitive, we need to start scoring goals – not just our centre-forwards, but from all over the park. 

“But we need to be realistic. We’re three points off top with a quarter of the season gone, in a league that is so tight I think between first and eighth position, there’s a three-point margin.

“I think we’re building and going in the right direction, so I think we need to keep our minds in a good place, rather than panicking, like a lot of people seem to be doing.”

When asked about strengthening his strike-force, Cox added: “Every manager in the country will want a 30-goal a season striker. We lost a good one in the summer, and I think that weakened the squad.

“A lot of people will say ‘Why didn’t you go out and sign another one?’ but these players are hard to come by. If you do find one, they usually come with a hefty price tag.

“We’ve got players like [Ollie] Palmer, who at some point needs ‘letting off his leash’ and players that are capable of being good players at this level.”

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