Rod: It’s down to Batty now

OK Rod, we’re through to the next round against Gateshead. You gave a rallying call to the fans after the game, do you have anything more to add to that?

No not really. They’ve been tremendous. Home and away they’ve been very good for us and as I say tonight was no different. It’s just one of them situations in that I can’t be as over the moon with the result as I’d like to be because of the injury to Anthony Church. The more I think about it, the more of a downer it puts on tonight. We worked hard, there were some good performances there tonight. We got the goal, we kept a clean sheet and we’re into the next round. We go to Gateshead and that is a winnable tie as far as I’m concerned. They’ve changed their manager but we’ll get them watched, we know a lot of people in the conference that will give us plenty of footage on them and we’ll enjoy ourselves in Newcastle. As I say, for the supporters – always been as good as gold. Bit disappointed with one or two that shout things when we’re walking in but maybe I’ve got to live with that. The expectations are very high. But for the majority of them, I can’t fault them.

You said before the Tranmere game last season that you don’t want City supporters not to go and miss a great result up there. Is this the same situation for you now?

Yeah of course. If you support the club, you support the club. At the end of the day I know it’s going to be expensive for people but you can’t have a home draw every Cup draw. We had two at home and now we’ve got two away. These guys are good enough to go and beat Gateshead, I’m sure of it. They’ll be as much fearful of us, we’ve got nothing to lose. We’ll go there and punch our weight and see what we can do.

You gave a start to Jim Stevenson tonight. How do you think he did?

Yeah he did alright. They (Bath) have got a lot of tricky midfielders, very sharp around the ball, very clever. They are brave, they don’t panic and they cause problems. Listen, we’ve come away with a clean sheet which tells me we were able to contain them. We need to compact it by keeping it tight and don’t get fooled by body movement. Jim’s done well, he ain’t played for a long time but when I signed him, I knew what I had signed. He is a winner and when the winter months start coming, people like Jim, Matty Johnson and Max Porter’s going to have another go because Church probably isn’t going to play for us from now to the end of the season. Fortunately we’ve got a lot of good midfielders here and they will have to dog it out and fight like everybody else is. We’ve got Kudus in the ice bath there, he hasn’t had it easy but he’s gone out tonight and done his job for me and that’s all I ask of my players – work hard. Yes, I get in their heads but as far as I’m concerned I want a certain standard and it ain’t about keeping the ball and looking great, it’s about being effective, working hard and winning the 1-on-1s. That is what I’m looking for, people who will defend hard for the team and try to put teams to bed.

You signed Chris Assombalonga last week but he has been cup-tied. Are you looking forward to being able to use him on Saturday against Dartford?

Yeah, I mean Chris has come in and he isn’t going to walk straight into the team. Barny (Lee Barnard) has worked hard tonight, Kudus has worked his socks off and I think what Assombalonga will give us is that little bit of strength and pace when we need it. But he’s got to see that when he comes into this club, it’s not Waltham Abbey and he will have to fight for his shirt and with me, if you do well you get a chance. We try to explain that to the players and we have to stick to that policy. As far as I’m concerned, me and Nick are very honest people and we give people opportunities and it’s up to them to take it.

Shaun Batt had a scan last week and by all accounts, it was good news. Is it now a case of getting him match fit?

It’s down to Batty now. He has been here a while and I do feel we could have used him in quite a lot of situations and we haven’t been able to. I’m not going to lie as a manager, I find it very frustrating but to be fair he has gone and got himself a scan so that tells me he wants to get himself fit. Now he has to get his body right and hopefully in the near future he will be a new addition to the squad. The squad’s very big at the minute and we’ve lost one tonight and other bit and pieces will happen but we’re in a good place.

There are a few rumours going around about another player we signed. Are you able to clarify the situation?

The player came in and trained and we were looking for a wide player. We are having to play people out there, I though Westy (Michael West) done well tonight and he got the goal. We’ve had to tinker with that side too often, we lost Jonny Giles through having an operation and Aaron Greene decided he wanted to go play regular football so he went down the road. So for me, it has been a problem and it is still a problem but to be fair Westy done well tonight. The lad came in and trained and we spoke to him and rather than drag him up to Bath I tried to be fair with him but the lad feels that he just wants to walk into a team and play, but that’s not going to happen at Chelmsford. So we decided to let him go and find a club where he can dictate when he plays football.