I spoke to Rod Stringer in preparation for the trip to Tranmere Rovers about his thoughts and preparations for the tie.
You’ve said before that the fans are important and that we are going to be underdogs next week. So do you think that the fans can have a bigger impact next week (at Tranmere)?
Yeah. Wherever I’ve been, I have always been the underdog even when I was at Braintree or Aveley, Bishop Stortford, wherever. And next week is the same, so I love that challenge and I would love for the supporters, if they can afford it, to come up and support the lads. You know, it’s a wonderful city. I think that we’ve left in good form from Saturday and I want everyone to come up and enjoy the occasion. As I’ve say, whether they come up on the day or stay over, that is our plan to stay over on the Saturday night because I know as a manager you don’t always get the opportunity to go to Liverpool and play in front of four or five thousand in a 17,000 capacity stadium, which tells me it’s an absolutely wonderful place for us to see. From our point of view; it’s a massive game. As I’ve said, them and Lincoln are the two biggest clubs in their division. So why not come out and enjoy the whole day. We’ll do our homework on them this week and prepare for the game. As far as I’m concerned, the message to you supporters is: Have no regrets. Try and get yourself up there and as I say, what a shame it will be if we go up there and beat them and people haven’t turned up. I haven’t got no crystal ball, I can’t guarantee anything. You fans have been tremendous, I want you to be as noisy as you can and even when we haven’t scored you need to be as noisy as you can because it helps drive the players on. I’m there for you and I want people to get behind my players and staff.
We got a 2-0 win over Truro City and before the game you said that we need to bounce back after the Ebbsfleet defeat before we go to Tranmere. The last thing we needed was to lose today and have confidence at an all time low before heading up to Prenton Park.
This was a big tonic for us today and we wanted to give you something to shout about. I don’t want to tempt fate but our league form this year has been great and apart from the FA Cup, this place is a fortress. We are doing all this work to get you guys into the theatre of dreams. That is want you want, you want to go to all these big grounds; your Lincolns and your Tranmeres every week. The players and staff, we appreciate everything you guys do for us and we just want to keep the numbers up from now until the end of the season because it’s massive. OK there will be times where we haven’t played that well and you’ve got to be honest the boys have gone out and worked hard on Saturday. There are no gimmes in this league, every game is tough. But bouncing back from last week and as you said: It was a must that we got a result on Saturday. To come off the back of two defeats could have taken the fizz out of going to Tranmere, but now we’ve asked the question of you. We’ve given you a good win today, a good performance and now your coming up to Liverpool.
Saturday was more important as only a couple of teams around us lost today, namely St Albans and Poole, so it was more important that we picked up points today to keep us in check with Ebbsfleet and Maidenhead.
Credit to Maidenhead, to be honest if they continue this wonderful run and go across the line, I will be the first to ring Devs up and say well done as I know how tough it is to win this league, I done it with Braintree. There is still a long way to go all we can do is take care of Chelmsford City, try and stay injury free, keep the squad buzzing and at the end of the day we will take what comes. We will finish where we deserve to finish and that’s all we can do. It’s a battle, it’s a fight. There are some big games coming up but whilst we are winning these games all we can do is look ourselves in the face and give it our best shot.
Finally, do you have any major injury concerns for next week?
We haven’t got any injury problems. We’ve got a few cup-tied. Bushy will be back, Mickey Spillane’s cup-tied, as is Kane Haysman and Josh Hill. But we have got a big enough squad, we’ll go there and make no excuses. But I’ve still got three to come in who are just as god as the one’s going out. There will be no excuses, we will do our homework this week and we will go to Tranmere with our chests out, proud of what we’re doing and see if we can get a result.