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Athletic heading 'back down to earth'

Date published: 11 January 2019


Following the ‘circus’ which surrounded Athletic following their FA Cup heroics at Fulham last weekend, it’s back to the bread and butter of League Two tomorrow.

Caretaker boss Pete Wild will again be in charge for the visit of in-form promotion-chasers Forest Green.

Academy coach Wild has enjoyed a perfect record so far, with Athletic having won three out of three since he took over from the sacked Frankie Bunn at the end of last month.

Wild enjoyed plenty of limelight after Sunday’s epic win at Craven Cottage, but now it’s back to the battle for crucial league points with Athletic currently just five shy of the play-off places.

“We’re back down to earth now, back to reality to what is now a massive game against Forest Green,” said Wild, who has also confirmed that he has spoken to club owner Abdallah Lemsagam about the vacant manager’s job, and will do so again next week.

“The lads have been excellent in training and the buzz around the training ground is good.

“We're still chasing teams like Forest Green, so we've got to make sure we're focused on that task.

“As I said last week (before Notts County), we can't become arrogant.

“We've got to be confident, we are confident, but we can't overstep the mark.

“I'm expecting a quality footballing side in Forest Green, the manager there (Mark Cooper) produces excellent footballing teams.”

Wild reckons tomorrow’s clash will be his toughest game in charge so far.

“I think it's the most difficult match because we're up against teams at the top of our own division,” added Wild.

“They'll come here on the back of a decent run of form and if we're not careful they're a team we can come a cropper against.

“We've got to really show we've prepared thoroughly because they're the games you can come unstuck in.”

Athletic will go into tomorrow’s game without top scorer Sam Surridge after he returned to his parent club Bournemouth following a loan spell.

Athletic have also lost Jordan Lyden and Sam Graham to their parent clubs this week.

However, Wild says owner Lemsagam is working hard to bring in more players to bolster the squad.

“We're working hard,” said Wild.

“The owner is working hard on trying to recruit new players and hopefully we can get a couple to complement what we have.”


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