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Johnson: "We Need To Gift The Fans."

15 January 2015

Manager Lee Johnson believes Fleetwood Town will prove to be a tough test for his small squad of players but is hoping to reward fans with a victory.

Johnson takes his side to the Fylde coast on Saturday in search of his first victory since the end of November but he admits Fleetwood will be a strong test for his players.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, Johnson said: "It will be a tough game as they are good at home and have a tight pitch. They play a diamond which is dangerous if your team lose it but they have some good players. 

"It's a bit similar to us where their first 13/14 players are excellent and we will have a good travelling contingent which is great. I'm sure they will be behind us and it is another game where we pull together. 

"I really want to give everyone a win because we need to gift the fans. We've got a big game on Tuesday so it will be great to go into that game on the back of a win against Fleetwood."

With several loan players going back to their parent clubs and Jabo Ibehre departing the club with a goal last Saturday, the manager finds himself with a shortage of players going into the game.

"It's a chance for some people to come and show what they are about," the gaffer admitted.

"We are low on numbers, there is no doubt about that, and we might have to go into the game with just two or three professionals on the bench. It is going to be a tight one that we will have to get through and it's one we will have to get through. 

"It's a busy time but that's what we love. We have just got to get the squad right and I feel they are. They are a bit deflated after the other day so this week we have picked them up. 

"The youngsters of this day and age are a bit more fragile than the experienced players. I've had to become an octopus and put my arm around a few players."

As we are now midway through the January transfer window, the 33-year-old has hinted at potential incomings and outgoings during the month.

"There is half a season left and we are where we are. We know that our first 11 is strong enough to compete at the top end of the division. It's a case of adding to that and making sure the players are fit, ready and happy.

"We may have to move one or two out first to get someone in but we are in the market and we are hunting for improvements," said Johnson.

Watch the full interview via Latics Player.

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