Pennington: We Believe We Can Survive
Thursday, 6th Dec 2018 16:40
On-loan Town defender Matthew Pennington has stressed that he and his team-mates still retain the belief that they can haul themselves clear of the Championship drop zone this season.
The league table doesn’t make pleasant reading for anyone with connections to the club but, despite being rock-bottom seven points of safety with just one win in their 20 league games, Pennington insists the mood in the camp remains upbeat.
The 24-year-old Everton loanee said: “Confidence is genuinely high. We feel our performances have improved and I believe the fans see it that way. But to really show what we can do we need to back it up with results.
“The belief that we can survive is still there. The league table doesn’t look great at the moment but all we can do is focus on our next game and hopefully get the result that starts our push up the table. I like to think that getting a win will be a huge help.
“The gaffer keeps everything positive and gets the lads going, so things have been really good in that respect and hopefully we can get the results we need.
“It’s disappointing where we are in the table but it’s up to us to rectify the situation and change things. As players we’re the only ones who can do something about it.”
Pennington, 24, is quick to praise the Town fans, adding: “I have to say a big thank-you to the supporters because they have backed us throughout the season.
“They’ve been singing and they’ve been travelling in their numbers to the away games, and it’s important that they keep that going for the team so we can hopefully get them some results to cheer.
“I can understand their concerns 100 per cent. These are very tough times but we are thankful for the support they’ve been giving us and hopefully we can repay them with a positive result at Stoke this weekend.
“The boys are feeling positive, although results have not gone our way, but we feel the performances have got better. We just need the results to show for it now.”
Town travel north to take on a Stoke team that only narrowly failed to preserve their Premier League status last season, current Town boss Paul Lambert having been drafted in to replace the departed Mark Hughes for the final four months of the campaign and winning two, drawing seven and losing seven of his 16 games in charge.
Under their new manager, ex-Birmingham and Derby boss Gary Rowett, the Potters are sitting 12th in the table, just six points shy of the play-offs, although they have failed to live up to their billing as one of the bookies’ pre-season favourites to return to the top flight at the first time of asking.
Town are still seeking their first win under Lambert, after drawing two and losing his other three games in charge, but can take heart from the fact that their only win this season came at Swansea, who were relegated alongside Stoke in May.
Pennington said: “Every game in this league is going to be tough and each team poses different threats. It’s about how we can manage that and how we can impose our style on our opponents.
“I hope that our second win of the season – and I’d love it to come at Stoke this weekend – will give us a huge lift then we can really kick on. I think it could be a bit of a trampoline for us.
Boss Lambert has already drawn up a list of players he would like to bring in during the transfer window and Pennington agrees they could do with some reinforcements to add weight to the survival bid.
“I guess that could give us a boost but it’s out of our hands,” he added. “It’s down to us to perform and improve results.”
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