Now cheer the lads to league safety
Reporter: Matthew Chambers
Date online: 27 February 2013
STICK with us is the message to Athletic’s “unbelievable” supporters as the club now focuses solely on avoiding relegation.
Caretaker manager Tony Philliskirk felt the support shown in the 3-1 FA Cup fifth round replay defeat at Goodison Park was something special.
Now he says the team needs the fans to provide similar backing in the league run - particularly with tough fixtures coming up.
“The supporters were outstanding,” said Philliskirk. “Even at 3-0, when you think they could go the other way, they just sang and sang. I was really pleased we got a goal and put on a bit of a show in the
second half to given them something to cheer about.
Hopefully they will stay with us until the end of the season and cheer the team towards getting the points we need to stay up as quickly as possible.”
Smith’s goal was his fourth against Premier League opponents this season. Philliskirk faces a tough decision over whether to start the in-form striker in the home game against promotion-chasing Sheffield United on Saturday.
With Athletic’s relegation rivals Hartlepool, Bury, Colchester and Scunthorpe all winning last night, the club drops to 20th in the table — one point clear of the drop-zone.
“All the other results went against us; now we go from one massive game to another,” Philliskirk added.
“I am sure if the players continue in the vein they are, with the spirit they have shown, we will be okay. We have set them a goal of winning five games. Our next two games are Sheffield United - top of the league; and Tranmere, who are up there as well. They are very important games.”
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