Latics aiming to land ‘telling blow’
Reporter: SIMON SMEDLEY
Date online: 17 January 2014
ATHLETIC boss Lee Johnson, who is gearing up for tomorrow’s clash at Port Vale, says his side must press home the advantage when they are in the ascendancy.
TOP, bottom or ninth-placed Port Vale — it doesn’t matter who Athletic play, they just need to focus on themselves says manager Lee Johnson.
His side heads to Vale Park tomorrow to take on a rival team with promotion ambitions.
It’s been a week of mixed fortunes for Athletic. They beat struggling Stevenage last weekend, before going down 1-0 at play-off contenders Walsall on Tuesday — where Latics missed a point when Adam Rooney saw his penalty kick saved in stoppage time.
Athletic remain 16th in the table, and Johnson wants more punch from his team now the season is more than half over.
“I’ve got a real sticking point in my head,” he said. “It doesn’t really matter who we play, whether it’s the top of the division or the bottom, they are all tough games. In lots of ways I don’t really see it as Brentford or Wolves being any tougher than Stevenage, it just has to be about what we do.
“We can play well, of course, but we’ve also got to finish — it’s as simple as that. If you’re not winning when you’re playing well, you could be in trouble.
“You just have to punch teams when you’re on top. If you don’t do it, you’re asking for trouble.”
Asked about the mood in the camp in the wake of Tuesday’s loss, Johnson said: “It was a result that was very demoralising, and I’m sure fans, players and everyone else have have been asking themselves what more could we have done? You have to dust yourself off and make sure you’re raring to go for the next game.”
Johnson is still busily working his way through a list of potential transfer targets.
Two unnamed Greek players are currently on trial, but asked about the chance of any imminent swoop, Johnson said he was just “waiting for the opportunity to strike”.
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