Lowestoft Town host Folkestone Invicta this weekend at Crown Meadow aiming to extend an unbeaten run to eight matches following a purple patch that has brought six wins and a draw to help steady the ship. Those results has meant that Lowestoft Town have climbed to 11th in the Ryman league table and speaking ahead of the game Ady Gallagher tells Sean Galea-Pace about how the Trawlerboys have found a way of winning consistently.
Your team is on a seven match unbeaten run, six of those wins, what do you think has changed that means that you can win games that perhaps you wouldn’t have earlier on in the season?
"I think we’ve generally been quite competitive throughout the whole season and we haven’t always got the result our performance deserved. I think what we’ve been able to do over the last few weeks is use our experience to tweak our formation, our shape of the team in order to be tighter defensively. With experience, you can make minor adjustments every now and again. It’s important that when things are going good or bad that you don’t get too carried away or down about it. That experience has enabled us to look at how we’ve done and when we have needed to adjust things. We’ve made minor tweaks and hoped it would bring us reward and that’s exactly what it has done. I think that’s one of the major benefits for us is that over the last few weeks, we’ve managed to get most of the lads fit and available. We have still had to cope with two or three injuries but it has meant that we’ve been able to rest some players in certain games which is something we haven’t been able to do during some stages in the season. We have also tweaked our training regime slightly and I believe that all those things have started to pay off for us. Another thing that people need to be aware of is that this team is generally quite a young side, they just take a bit of time to settle in and bed into the system that we play. I’m quite positive about the future because I think with the number of players we have; we can be successful".
Do you feel your team has prioritized that the overall result is more important than the performance and are better prepared to grind out wins?
"I don’t think that we’ve prioritized it. With any team that I’ve managed, I’ve always set out with the intention to win the game. I think what we’ve done recently is be more subtle as a team, defended better as a unit and done it on a more consistent level over the last ten games or so. I think there has been a reduction with the amount of goals we’ve conceded so that’s a positive situation to be in and with clean sheets, it gives you the confidence to score goals and win games. Winning games is a habit just as losing games is but we won’t get carried away and we’ll get our heads down and keep trying to improve".
How confident are you that this form will act as a springboard and help to lay the foundation for a possible promotion bid next season?
"It is hard to predict that. What I would say is that if you have a winning team then it is more likely those types of things happen. From a personal point of view, I never look further ahead than the next game. It has been well-documented that there has been lots of changes at the club and the budget is a lot less than it used to be so we’ve not only had a reduced squad but we have also had to bring in some younger players. That is our remit, that is what we have in front of us and it was important when things weren’t going well that I didn’t panic which is what experience allows me not to do. I have a good team around me who are a massive help and its invaluable and we work very hard to put ourselves in the best possible shape we can be in and when we have that set-up, it gives you a great opportunity to be successful for a long period of time. From my point of view, I feel that we have the foundations of a good, young side and depending on the Chairman’s plans for next year, if the majority of this side can stay together, then I think we’ve got a great chance to continue to develop. But there’s still seven league games to go this year and because of my competitive nature and the players, we will be aiming to win every one of them".
Nico Cotton has played an important part in this winning run since signing on loan from Southend United. How impressed have you been with his impact?
"I’ve been really impressed with Nico. Apart from being a nice lad, he works hard for the team. He has a lot of potential and is trying to carve out a professional career for himself and it is a good test for him to come to clubs like Lowestoft just as Harry Kyprianou did last year and test himself. Nico has good players around him, he’s learning and developing his game but knows he’s in a dressing room where three points matter to everyone every week. What particularly pleases me about him is that he continues to carry an attacking threat throughout the whole 90 minutes and he continues to improve with telling passes, shots and goals during the latter stages of the game. I felt he was excellent against Enfield and he has been a consistent performer in our most recent games and it is great to have him here. It is good to have this relationship with Southend which is through Dale’s (Brooks) relationship with them and hopefully it is something we can continue with in the future and we can get other players like Nico and Harry who can come in and put in a good shift for us".
Updated 18:36 - 23 Mar 2017 by Terry Bullen