Reporter: MATTHEW CHAMBERS
Date online: 12 March 2013
ATHLETIC won’t veer from the path that has brought success to the caretaker management team, promised Tony Philliskirk.
Athletic need to reverse the run of three losses to have a chance of moving out of the relegation places in npower League One.
“It is really important we keep the players calm and relaxed,” said Philliskirk, who won his first three League One matches against MK Dons, Stevenage and Portsmouth before losing to Sheffield United and Tranmere.
“You would have to be silly not to realise the magnitude of the situation we are in.
“The players were so disappointed again to not get anything out of the Tranmere game after conceding another poor goal.
“They are feeling a bit aggrieved about decisions but we are saying to the players that they have to stay positive.
“We are not playing badly. We faced the best team in the division, Sheffield United, and a team that is now fourth, Tranmere. There has been nothing between us and them.
“We major on the positives there. It is important we are not seen to be panicking. We continue in the same way we were when we got those three wins. Our ethos doesn’t change.”
The postponement of tonight’s game against Tranmere gives Matt Smith more time to recover from the knee injury that would have put him out of contention — the tall striker is facing a scan on the joint — but James Wesolowski has shaken off the six-stitches head wound from the weekend.
Meanwhile, two Athletic players are walking a suspension tightrope.
Wesolowski is two cautions away from a two-game ban, while midfield partner and 12-goal top scorer Jose Baxter is is only one away from suspension.
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