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Cook: Celina's Relationship With Fans Will Grow Even Stronger the More He Plays
Friday, 24th Sep 2021 10:52

Bersant Celina’s relationship with supporters will develop and grow stronger the more time the Kosovan international is on the pitch, manager Paul Cook says.

The 25-year-old made an impressive debut as Town won 1-0 at Lincoln last week before tiring in the second half, which came as little surprise after a pre-season with parent club Dijon which was interrupted by Covid and then pericarditis.

“The guy has had no pre-season and I think this is one of the factors that you've got to be so careful of when injuries are coming and different stuff we're asking too much of players and different stuff,” Cook said.

“We are very mindful of where the lads are at in terms of fitness and we do feel that we probably started the season with a lack of fitness in our legs due to the lateness of signings and everything else.

“But we could do nothing about that, there's nobody who could do anything about that. So, whilst we're playing catch up, we know that we want to get results.

“I think it was 65 minutes Bersant got last week and it was really good for him to get in front of our fans again because he knows and they know how much they both adore each other.

“That relationship is very mutual, trust me, he loves our supporters, so the more minutes we can get him, the more time on the pitch, and we'll only see that relationship develop and grow stronger.”

Saturday’s game against the Imps was very much a game of two halves with Town passing the ball around with confidence and creating chances in the first, with Celina often at the heart of it, before a backs to the wall defensive display in the second with that lack of fitness presumably playing a part in that.

“It wasn't the plan just to let you know,” Cook laughed, reflecting on the game-of-two-halves aspect of the performance at Sincil Bank.

“And you saw, Hayden Coulson goes off with an injury that no one can do anything about, and it's football.

“Hayden missed a lot of football in the summer, so we're not looking for any excuses. There's no culture here of blame or excuses, we just keep going, and hopefully tomorrow we can put another 90-minute performance together.”

Photo: Steve Waller

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