Ahead of the final match of the season against Harrow Borough at Crown Meadow on Saturday, Sean Galea-Pace talks to Lowestoft Town manager Ady Gallagher to discuss the win over rivals Leiston, his stand-out performers from the season and the importance of finishing the campaign strongly.
How pleasing was it to make it back-to-back wins against Leiston and dent their play-off hopes in the process?
"It was a very good performance and satisfying to beat our local rivals on the back of playing three games in five days. To be able to show that level of commitment on Monday was fantastic. I felt the quality of our play was very good too, we controlled large parts of the game and always looked quite comfortable but we the belief we showed to finish the game off in the last ten minutes was excellent after three consecutive matches".
It was a very late show in that game with all three goals happening in the last few minutes, were you always confident there would be a breakthrough?
"I believed we always looked dangerous on the counter-attack, I felt that Leiston’s need to get a victory was greater than ours in terms of league table position but we obviously wanted to win the game and we kept it tight for long periods and knew that they might try and open up towards the end. But I felt we finished the game stronger, we looked like we could exploit a couple of gaps in their backline and had already created a number of chances so I always believed a chance would come for us to be able to win the game".
With it being the final match of the season, do you plan on experimenting much in the way of tactics?
"Unfortunately, we’re not in the position where we can experiment with tactics. We have a squad that is depleted. Rory McAuley will join Travis on the suspended list so they’ll be out alongside Rossi who has had surgery recently and we’ll be low on numbers so we’ll do what we can to get the best squad together and win the game".
In terms of individual performances this season, who would you say has had the biggest impact for you?
"I’ve been particularly pleased with Frazer Blake-Tracy and Travis Cole. I think as individual players and young guys, they’ve been the two shining lights this season. They’ve been consistently good. Travis joined us in October and has proven to be a real leader and a future captain, he has a lot of quality and is a real winner so he’s going to be an important player for us in the future. Frazer is a joy to have here. Having firstly spotted him and then to have been able to tempt him to the club and for him to prove that he’s the type of character and player that we thought he was really rewarding. It’s good to see him develop this year, he’s played in three different positions for us and has been equally competent in every single one of them. What I particularly like about the lad is that he’s very focused and professional and concentrates on everything that he does. He looks after himself so I think he’ll be a big talent for the future. So those two would be the most rewarding. I think Shaun Bammant has had a particularly good season considering he missed the start of the season with an injury which was ongoing from last year but he’s got better and better as the season has gone on so that’s been a real plus for me. They’d be the stand-out ones but there’s been a few others that have done well too. Ryan Jarvis has dropped into the midfield role for the last three months of the season and I think only quality players can change their position like that and move around the pitch and still perform; he’s got a very good football brain, he’s strong, physical and when asked to play in that midfield three, he’s done very well for us".
How important is it that your side produces a good display to end the season strongly against Harrow Borough this weekend?
"Harrow beat us quite comfortably at their place earlier in the season but are still not mathematically safe from the drop but I think they’ll be okay at the end of the day but we know it’s going to be a tough game. But from my point of view, we always have something to play for. You’re playing for the Lowestoft Town shirt; you’ve always got to try and produce your top levels. We haven’t always been able to this year but with it being the last home game of the year, we’d like to finish on a high but we know that won’t be easy because Harrow still have lots to play for this year and will want to put on a good show against us on Saturday".
Updated 18:39 - 21 Apr 2017 by Terry Bullen