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Kelly: “We Need This Place To Be A Fortress.”

14 August 2015

Manager Darren Kelly is calling on the supporters to make SportsDirect.com Park a fortress as Latics entertain Fleetwood Town in their first home league fixture of the season.

The gaffer saw his side fall to Championship opposition on Wednesday night but wants to create an intimidating atmosphere for the Cod Army who visit SportsDirect.com Park tomorrow afternoon.

He said: "They are going to be a good well-organised side but a lot of the focus is going to be on us and how we do things. We need this place to be a fortress and the supporters be the 12th man, getting behind the team and then we can show our true quality. If we can play like I know we can, we will win the game. 

"We are the home team, we have the home support and we need to make this a fortress and that will start tomorrow. It is important we start well, really get at them, show our true quality, create chances and ultimately put them away.”

Since taking over the managerial reigns at the club, Kelly has been more than impressed with his players who have bought into this footballing philosophy. 

“They have been excellent,” he admitted. “You look at them in training, their commitment, desire and professionalism has been fantastic. 

"They have the willingness to succeed, the drive, the hunger and the desire. I speak to them all the time, individually and as a group, and you can see the hunger in their eyes. 

"The good thing about it is it becomes a headache to pick a side because you see them on the training ground and on the pitch and they are itching to get in the starting 11 to play. It is pleasing to watch because it’s great to see the players wanting to do so well.”

One player who could miss tomorrow’s game with a slight groin injury is full back Brian Wilson, but youngster Jonathan Burn could return to the starting 11 after missing Tuesday’s game against his parent club.

Kelly said: ”I want to protect him because he had an outstanding debut last weekend baring in mind he came from Middlesbrough’s under 21s where they play 20 games a season. 

“We have eight games in four weeks and it's about taking care of him. When it comes to October, I don’t want him to blow up because he’s only had 20 games so it’s just about easing him in softly because he’s going to play a lot of games. 

"I know the quality he has and I’ve watched him for a long time. He played against the big boys last season and he was the captain of the under 21s. He is a leader and I think on his debut he showed what he was about. The more he gets going the better he will get.”

Watch the full interview on Latics PlayerHD.

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