Salford City are back at The Peninsula Stadium on Saturday for the visit of Scunthorpe United.
Following on from Tuesday night’s 1-0 win against Port Vale, The Ammies will again be looking to build up some momentum in the final 15 games of the season.
Only five points separate Salford from the top three and with the league as tight and unpredictable as it is, it’s up to Richie Wellens’ side to take control of their own results.
January arrival Paul Coutts has helped to bolster the team, starting the last seven games in a holding midfield position, and says that picking up points is the most important thing despite improved performances.
“The results have been a little bit up and down, we obviously won Tuesday night and I think we’ve probably played better than that in the last three or four games and not picked up maximum points so, it’s a tough one it’s hard to put your finger on.
“We worked on doing the basics a bit better on Tuesday, defending probably better, stopping crosses and getting out to the ball, just the horrible side of the game you’ve got to do to earn your way and I thought we did that pretty well Tuesday although it wasn’t probably the best we’ve played with the ball so it’s a tough one.
“It’s a tough league and everyone’s fighting, it’s so tight that everyone’s still got something to play for.
“I think any win it gives the squad the confidence that it requires to go and achieve something. That is where your belief comes from, from winning games, so it doesn’t matter if it’s 4-0 or if it’s 1-0, it’s three points all the same and we need to carry that on.”
Two wins in the last five have been enough to keep The Ammies around the play-offs, with both of those victories coming at The Peninsula Stadium where Salford remain unbeaten in League Two this season. Coutts says it’s a good record to protect but the 32-year-old, who has won promotions with Peterborough United and Sheffield United, warned that Salford can’t look too far ahead at the end goal.
“It’s good, obviously if we can carry that on until the end of the season it’s going to stand us in good stead for where we want to end up so, it’s a great record but it’s going to be tough to keep it going and we’ll try our best.
“I think you just take each game as it comes, you just try and play for three points on Saturday, Tuesday, whenever it is we play. You can’t look at the bigger picture of promotion from that far away you just need to focus on winning three points in the next game and if you can put a little run together, great.
“Anyone who puts a run together, you’ve seen Bradford and Bolton, these sides have come out of nowhere with good runs but you know we just need to focus on three points and that would round up a good week for us.”
There are no new injury concerns for Salford. Darron Gibson remains unavailable as he continues his recovery from an injury sustained in October.
The Iron are possibly one of the sides that can be considered to have been on a good run, one that has at least eased fears of relegation. Since our meeting in January, Neil Cox’s side have won five of their eight games to move up to 18th, including their 0-1 win at Cambridge United on Tuesday which knocked The Us off top spot.
They set out with a young squad, but the in-season arrivals of former Salford loanee Mark Howard, ex-Reading midfielder Jem Karacan and centre-back George Taft have helped Cox’s side learn a bit of nous and what it takes to get results over the line.
Another area they’ve struggled in is the goals department, Ryan Loft has notched eight and Abo Eisa six but other than that they have been spread around the team and the absence of Kevin Van Veen through injury hasn’t helped.
However it seems Scunthorpe could be set for a more encouraging end to the season, and they will have their sights set on a first win against Salford having drawn 1-1 here last season and been edged out by a mistake in January’s reverse.
HOW TO WATCH
Saturday’s game will be available to watch on live.salfordcityfc.co.uk. Season Ticket Holders should have the game included as part of their package, or it’s available to purchase for £10 in the UK or £7 abroad.