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Interviews

Maamria Wants A Reaction At Salford

24 January 2020

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The Head Coach is eager for his side to make amends after the defeat to the Ammies in late December.

Failing to win in 2020 so far, Maamria is determined that a positive result at the weekend will be a boost after recently going from three consecutive losses to three consecutive draws.

"We've had a good few days to be fair. You always reflect on last Saturday, what you could've done better and what more we could've done to have won those games and quickly moved onto this Saturday as we've got Salford and it's a local game for us.

"It's sold out the game so it's quite a big fixture and all the focus like I said has been on Salford this week."

On getting a response from his side: "It's important I mention that [the Salford defeat] to the players of course. It's not like any game, they came here and beat us and that hurt, it hurt a lot.

"We've got to go there and make sure that we do the right thing and put on a performance for our fans first and foremost because they're turning up in numbers again.

"So it is a big game for them, it's an important game for us and we've seen their investment during this month, so the pressure is there for everybody to see."

He continued: "I've watched the first game back on video, I always like to do that and just refresh the memory. I know their team has changed now, they've got [Michael] O'Connor, Bruno [Andrade] and [Tom] Elliott so they have a few new faces and may have a few more before the weekend, we don't know.

"We know them very well though, they know us pretty well, as well. I think it's going to be a good game, an exciting game, we look forward to it but nobody is just going to go to Salford and get given the three points. We've got to work our hardest to get that important win."

One player who will miss the game will be defender Carl Piergianni due to being unable to play against his parent club whilst on loan, something which is not ideal and means another change to the defence when it was just starting to look stable again.

"It's been our achilles heel over the last month or so that when we have a settled team, like I've said I hate changing the team and system. I like to keep that fluidity in the team because the players will get better and have more understanding.

"But it's been really difficult for us this month with the personnel we've had available. We've had a few sickness bugs going around, one or two missed a few games. We had Chris McCann who's been huge for us before he broke down.

"Carl came in and in the last two games we looked solid defensively, conceding two with one being a penalty. We find ourselves unfortunately this weekend looking at a different back four again and my focus this week has been trying to get that back four or three, whichever shape we're going to play working together and getting that understanding.

"It's not been easy the change of personnel, we knew January was always going to be difficult with players leaving and coming in. But my focus has always been on the process and the bigger picture."

Despite being forced into changes, the recruitment and morale behind the scenes looks to be improving for the right reasons.

"I've got to honest the turning point was a couple of weeks ago at the Stevenage and Macclesfield games.

"We lost the three games before and we struggled against those teams and it was quite messy. 

"But since then the players realised how much that game meant for me personally [at Stevenage] and I thought they put a shift in, in difficult conditions for the football club.

"The mindset of our players over the last two weeks has been a huge change. I've never seen a dressing room more together, I've never seen a group of players train as hard and been as one since I came in.

"Obviously the supporters don't see that on a day-to-day basis and unfortunately hasn't reflected on us winning games yet but we've been very close and unfortunate.

"It's the way it is, but we conceded nine goals in those three games before and lost our way as a result. So we went back to basics and made sure we grafted without the ball and we've been doing that more regularly.

"In front of goal we've been unfortunate too, but we've got to be patient and nobody loves winning more than me and it hurts a lot when I don't.

"I came here to stabilise the club, changes need making and I'm doing that. I need another transfer window for sure to put my stamp on the team but everybody can see the types of players we're trying to bring in to change the fortune of the football club."

He added: "To attract the likes of Danny Rowe and Jonny Smith they must've seen something good going on. They had other offers those players, Jonny Smith everybody has been after him.

"He obviously likes what we're doing here. He sees the bigger picture and he wants to be a part of it, so does Danny Rowe.

"Those players are not short of offers, likewise with Carl Piergianni. They're going to be big additions for us along with the other players we have as well.

"It was a big squad when I came in, too big in fact and my job is to keep the players happy, keep the dressing room positive and it's really difficult when you have 31 players because when you pick the team a large chunk will be left out and every player wants to play.

"We've not announced some of the departures for reasons out of our control but some have already left. There is a lot of changes going on behind the scenes and to get three points on Saturday will help us massively because it gives everybody an extra lift going forwards and allows us to finish the season strong."


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