Belief will be the biggest thing for Salford City ahead of the remaining 11 games in Sky Bet League Two says striker Mani Dieseruvwe.
The Ammies head to Exeter City on Saturday for Gary Bowyer’s first game in charge, a side two points and one place above Salford in the table.
Without a goal in four games, and with just one win in the last eight in the league, Salford need fortunes to improve quickly but have had an encouraging week with the new Manager.
Now Dieseruvwe, who made his 100th Club appearance last Saturday at Cheltenham Town, says the players need to give all they have to try and secure a play-off place.
“As a group we know we’ve probably let a few games slip where we know we could have done a lot better and we’ve addressed that as a team.
“We set high standards as a group and we know we can push each game. We want to be winning games 1, 2, 3-nils, I mean we’ve got to be pushing to be relentless in every game that we play so I think now with where we are in the season, 11 games to go and six points off the play-offs I think if we’re rightly rounded in the group and make sure we can drive on and get as many points as possible we’ll definitely have a right chance.
“[The] spirit and belief in the squad is definitely there, the last few days in training the boys have been competitive and pushing each other and we’ve always had that belief we can achieve something great this season.
“We have to have that never say die mentality in games where we might concede a goal early on or late on, but we need to make sure that we group and we always believe that no matter what, until the final whistle we keep driving and we keep trying to get those three points.”
The 26-year-old signed in 2017 from Kidderminster Harriers and alongside Ibou Touray has joined the list of centurions for Salford, winning two league titles and the Papa John’s Trophy along the way. He added:
“It’s a great achievement to be fair, I think when I first signed I probably didn’t expect to make that many appearances but over the years it’s been an enjoyable time for me and I’m really happy to make that many appearances for the Club.
“I’ve felt going through the leagues the like of myself and Ibou, even some of the lads who’ve left, could cope with the levels and we gave a good account of ourselves I think for each level.”
Watch the full interview with Mani on Matchday LIVE from 12:30 on Saturday, streaming for free on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
Salford should be able to welcome Tom Clarke, Richie Towell and Paul Coutts back after niggles kept the trio out at Cheltenham Town. Bruno Andrade is a doubt and Darron Gibson continues his return a serious leg injury, but is likely to be in the dugout in an assistant coaching capacity.
The Grecians are once again chasing a play-off spot having qualified for the end of season competition in three of the last four campaigns. However they have hit a minor blip in their push for the top seven and have lost three in a row including a 2-1 defeat at Oldham Athletic on Tuesday night.
Top scorers in the league, goals haven’t been a problem for Exeter with Academy graduate Matt Jay on 17 for the season, but they have been susceptible to the odd anomaly result which has left them chasing the pack and they will be hoping for a reaction themselves.
This is Salford’s first visit to St. James’ Park after last season’s trip was the first game postponed by the Coronavirus pandemic. Exeter visited The Peninsula Stadium in the opening game of the season and fell behind early to an Ian Henderson goal before wrestling control and taking a 1-2 lead, only for Ash Hunter to equalise in the second half.
Taking into account the sides’ respective positions in the table, it could be another close encounter agrees Dieseruvwe.
“It’ll be a tough game, Exeter are doing well in the league as well. They’re a physical team, they can mix it, they’ve got good players so it’ll be a difficult game.
“We’ve got to make sure we’re prepared mentally, we’ll travel down, make sure we get the right preparation that side of the game, but we’ll definitely be up for the game and ready to take it to them.”
HOW TO WATCH
Kick off is at the earlier time of 13:00 GMT on Saturday, with the match available to watch on live.salfordcityfc.co.uk for £10 in the UK and £7 abroad.