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Garbutt: This is a Massive Game For Us
Monday, 13th Jan 2020 16:14

Town will be seeking a notable ‘first’ at Oxford tomorrow evening – to succeed where they have previously failed and beat one of the other sides also in the League One promotion mix.

They suffered their first home defeat this season to new leaders Rotherham, also lost at Portsmouth and it has been honours-even in their clashes with Wycombe (twice), Coventry, Sunderland, Doncaster and Peterborough, meaning a haul of just six points from the 24 on offer so far against the other clubs who occupy a place in the top nine.

The incentive to buck the trend at the Kassam Stadium is that a win will take Paul Lambert’s men level on points with the only two teams ahead of them in the table, Rotherham and Wycombe, while extending the gap between them and fifth-placed Oxford to five points.

Everton loanee Luke Garbutt said: “Every single game is vital from now until the end of the season. We’re in the second half of the season now and we’ve got to lay down markers every week.

“This game is a bit more significant because of where Oxford are in the league, just behind us, and if we win we go joint-top. It’s a massive game for us.

“Also, we have to play Rotherham, Peterborough and Sunderland in successive games after we go to Oxford tomorrow, then travel to Tranmere on Saturday and face Lincoln at home the following week.

“We must take confidence from the way we played on Saturday to beat Accrington 4-1 and get ourselves back to what we want to be doing week in, week out, really.

“That means dominating games, making sure we are clinical in the final third, taking our chances and ensuring we are tight at the back.

“We pretty much did that on Saturday so we just want to keep it going and although we know it is going to be a test when we meet the other promotion-chasing teams, we also have to be confident of getting a good array of points from the games.”

Garbutt believes the fact that all three strikers – Kayden Jackson, James Norwood and substitute Will Keane – were all on target at the weekend is not only good for them but gives the side a huge boost going into the 20 remaining league games.

The trio have so far netted 24 times and Garbutt added: “Strikers love to score and the more the better. I know James well because we are golf buddies and his game is all about goals.

“He just wants to score as many as he can. He’s in double figures now and he’s managed to score in the last couple of league games.

“All three of them getting on the scoresheet on Saturday is great for their confidence. The confidence spreads throughout the squad because we know we have strikers who are firing again and it boosts our chances of getting results from the upcoming fixtures.

“James isn’t bothered about missing chances because he always believes he will get another one and that he’ll score. It’s good to have that type of player in the club. He’s kind of selfish in a way because he’s not bothered about anything other than scoring goals and making sure we win games. Fundamentally, that is his job.”

But Garbutt has a spot of advice for his golfing pal. “We play golf quite a lot. He likes a good knockabout and he’s alright, not bad,” he said. “But my advice to him would probably be to stick at the football.”

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TimmyH added 16:45 - Jan 13
Haven't beaten a top 6 side all season...make of that what you will.
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runningout added 16:48 - Jan 13
all games big, whoever they maybe, whatever league
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Chrisd added 16:57 - Jan 13
Time to buck that trend Timmy H, no better fixture than tomorrow night against an in form Oxford side.
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NoCanariesAllowed added 17:55 - Jan 13
To be fair, Fleetwood were flying (3rd place, I think) when we beat them in October. One thing to say we haven't beaten sides that are 'in the promotion mix' at the present time, but this has fluctuated all season, particularly given how tight the table is around the playoff places.
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Fatboy added 18:11 - Jan 13
@NoCanariesAllowed, I was going to make exactly the same point. Even now, Fleetwood are only 2 points outside the playoff positions with a game in hand. Arguably, any of the teams down to about 15th could consider themselves to be in the promotion mix.
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KiwiBlue2 added 03:33 - Jan 14
Coming into the straight there are many chances fanned out across the track. We need settled line up to boost cohesion and maximise opportunities. If PL keeps the current line up going with only 1 or 2 changes each week we have the quality to take the race out but does PL have the stamina .........
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