Penney: We'll Be Looking to Right a Few Wrongs at Bolton
Thursday, 13th Jan 2022 06:00
Matt Penney has stressed the importance of building on last week’s exhilarating display in winning 4-0 at Gillingham when Town travel north to Bolton this weekend.
The Trotters triumphed 5-2 at Portman Road in the corresponding fixture in September but the former Sheffield Wednesday player, who joined on a free transfer last summer, insists the Blues can give a very different account of themselves on Saturday.
Town are looking to complete a hat-trick of consecutive wins under new boss Kieran McKenna, having beaten high-flying Wycombe 1-0 at home prior to their trip down to Kent – and Penney has emerged as a key player in the manager’s wing-back formation.
The 23-year-old from Chesterfield said: “We’ve had two great wins but there’s a saying in football that the most important game is your next one.
“We have to build on what we have achieved in the last two and look to win again at Bolton. It’s vital that we carry on picking up points to nudge us closer to the play-offs.
“I didn’t play against Bolton earlier in the season but put it this way, we’ve had better days than that one.
“Nobody likes losing so convincingly at home but I think we’re a different side now and we’ll be looking to right a few wrongs up there.
“If we can play as well as we did to beat both Wycombe and Gillingham I think we’ll have a great chance.”
Town are now eight points adrift of the top-six place they covet, which is three points closer than they were before turning on the style at Gillingham last week, and with 21 fixtures remaining for McKenna’s men they cannot be written off as play-off contenders.
They have not always managed to follow up memorable displays like the 6-0 home defeat of Doncaster and the 4-0 and 4-1 wins at Portsmouth and Wycombe respectively, but Penney knows the importance of putting a consistent run of results together if they are to bridge the gap to sixth place.
Looking back to the win at Priestfield, which saw Town establish a 3-0 interval lead, he added: “It was great. Obviously, with any away win, the lads are happy on the bus.
“But the most important thing about coming away from Gillingham with a win was that it was our second on the spin since the new manager came in and it gave us another three points to get closer to where we want to be.
“The second half of the season is just under way and we’ve taken maximum points from two games, so as good as the atmosphere was on the bus coming home it’s the fact that we are closer to the play-offs than we were and we’ll be chasing another three points up at Bolton on Saturday.
“We’ve had some good performances this season – the 6-0 home win over Doncaster is an obvious one, plus the away wins at Portsmouth and Wycombe, where we scored four goals in each, but we’ve dipped in and out and the one thing we’ve lacked is consistency.
“But Saturday was a great performance – we certainly deserved all three points – and we’re starting to build some real momentum having beaten Wycombe at home as well.”
Asked to sum up what has changed under the new manager, who quit his role as first team coach at Manchester United to launch his management career with Town, the former Owl added: “A lot of stuff – tactics, formation and individual roles for example – has changed and it’s down to the new gaffer and the way he wants us to play.
“We’ve been able to take on board what he expects of each and every one of us and thankfully we are seeing the rewards in terms of performances and results.
“The training is great. It’s sharp, it’s intense and there’s attention to detail in everything we do.
“The standard is higher and the boys are thriving off it. The training is enjoyable and the atmosphere around the place is more upbeat, both at the training ground and at the stadium.
“With two wins under our belts under him we’re just looking to continue to build the momentum over what remains of the season and hopefully it will take us into the play-offs.
“I think you can see from the way the boys are performing that they are happy and long may it continue.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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