Wanderers' interim manager offers up his thoughts on a variety of topics ahead of his side's final game of the season this weekend
Interim manager Jimmy Phillips addressed the local media ahead of Wanderers’ final league outing of the season away at Fulham on Saturday afternoon.
The Whites will be aiming to pick up the first win on their travels this term when making the trip to Craven Cottage, with the team heading into the clash off the back of a hard-earned 1-0 victory over Hull City last time out.
And speaking prior to the game in his pre-match press conference, Phillips covered the below points.
On his spell in interim charge and the summer ahead…
It’s been a topsy-turvy period for myself in charge of the first team, but there has been a steady improvement from the players.
I think it’s a season that we’ll all be glad to see the back of, from the playing side to the off-field activities, and I think the club has got one of the most important summers ahead of them for some time.
It’s going to be an important time for us in the transfer market too.
I think for everybody’s sake, the club needs to know who the next manager is as soon as is possible, especially from a backroom staff point of view. Plans have been tentatively put in place for pre-season, but not until a new manager comes in can those be firmed down and a solid direction set out.
I think it is vital for the club to get that position filled as soon as possible and then they can start making preparations for League One.
We’ve had in one season what some clubs might experience in ten years, but that has always been the nature of the club. Going back to my playing days, it was always promotion or relegation, but you’d rather have a season where you’re playing for something.
Next year, everything will hopefully be a lot more positive.
On the win against Hull last time out…
I think that people saw against Hull a hard-working performance with some good attacking moves.
Stephen Dobbie stuck his goal away very well and I think from our point of view on the playing side of things, we just wanted to send the fans home happy and with hope for the new season.
On four youngsters' contract extensions being confirmed earlier this week…
It’s great news for the club. As we’ve seen when we’ve given some of the younger players a chance and their debuts, bringing youth up through the ranks will be a big part of the club for the coming years.
Rob Holding has done fantastically this season while Zach Clough has chipped in with some important goals. They’ve all done well for the first team along with the likes of Tyler Garratt, Niall Maher and Oscar Threlkeld amongst others – they will hopefully be the nucleus for the first team in the future.
It’s not easy to make that transition up, but they will get there with the help of this football club.
Relegation is the worst thing you can face as a player, but it also makes you stronger for the experience. It might not feel like it now, but everybody who has been involved this season, especially the younger ones, it will stand them in good stead and benefit them in the years to come.
On Saturday’s game against Fulham and the prospect of ending Wanderers’ winless run on the road…
The Fulham game is one which we want to break that hoodoo in. We showed against Cardiff that we can score and be resilient, so we’ll go to London this weekend with the same philosophy to ensure that we’re hard to beat.
We know we have players out there who are capable of sticking the ball away should the opportunity arise while all the coaching and playing staff don’t want to be known as the team who didn’t win away all season.
It’s our last chance and we’ll certainly be giving it our best shot. When you look back to the final few minutes of the Hull game, although we were under pressure, we defended resolutely and that showed our mental approach to the game.
It requires a similar mental approach to get something out of it and the players will go there with that mentality. We know that with the players at our disposal currently, we’re not going to be playing lots of expansive football, but it’s important that we remain solid and steady at the back as that’s where we’ve been strong of late.
On team news ahead of the trip to Craven Cottage…
Josh Vela is still unavailable, although Oscar Threlkeld might be back - he'll face a late test.
Wellington Silva played 45 minutes against Manchester City on Tuesday for the Under-21s so he may come back into our thinking. With him, we’ll just have to see if there’s been any fall-out from his injury and if not, he’ll travel with the squad.
Tickets for the club's final game of the 2015/16 Sky Bet Championship season are still available while there will also be a pay on the day option. More details are available by CLICKING HERE.
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