Wanderers' interim manager offers his thoughts ahead of Saturday's penultimate 2015/16 league fixture
Speaking at his press conference ahead of the visit of Hull City this weekend, interim manager Jimmy Phillips called for his side to end their efforts on home soil this season with a positive result and give something back to the club's supporters for their dedication this term.
With just Saturday’s clash with the Tigers and a trip to Fulham next weekend remaining before the curtain is brought down on the 2015/16 campaign, Wanderers will pit their wits against promotion hopefuls City in front of the Sky Sports television cameras come Saturday lunchtime.
And ahead of his side's penultimate game of the campaign, Phillips paid tribute to the club's fans who have provided a continued backing throughout a testing season for all involved with the Whites.
“All the players and staff have been massively appreciative of the fans," he said. "The club has had one of the worst seasons for perhaps the past 25 years and we all know that we’ve underachieved.
“Their support this season though has been second to none in extremely difficult circumstances, especially in the away games where they turn up and give a superb backing. They’ve been so supportive and it really has been appreciated.
“With just two games left now though, everybody on the coaching and playing side just want to give the fans a little something to cheer about because they deserve it.”
Looking ahead to his side's latest game, Phillips said, “Each week has produced fresh challenges and this week it has been Niall Maher’s suspension and a hamstring injury to Oscar Threlkeld, so they’re not available for the weekend,” he said. “There seems to be different problems to solve each week unfortunately.
“In the Cardiff game last time out, being down to ten men after 30 minutes or so made it an uphill task for us. We defended with a good shape though and had the better chances in the game, so there are signs of improvement and signs that they are recognising where we can improve as a team.
“With this weekend’s match, Hull have been going for promotion all season long, but now they’ve had to settle for the play-offs.
“Although it’s perhaps not going to be the game they will have expected when they looked at the fixture list a month or so ago, they’ll still want to finish strongly but we have our own target and that will be to go out there and get a result.”
He continued: “Since our relegation was confirmed, people from the outside looking in may have thought that it would just be a case of fulfilling fixtures, but that certainly hasn’t been the case from our perspective.
“In every match we’ve played in since we’ve taken charge, we’ve instilled that mentality into the players to go out there and give everything they have got in them.
“We’ve never felt that it’s just been ticking games off the list and we’ve used the opportunity of the last few weeks to field some younger players which has been great to see both from our point of view and the fans too.
“Everybody needs to take that into next season as being a League One club, we’ll certainly be a scalp that the other teams will be looking to get. The players are certainly taking on board what we’re telling them.”
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