Manager Looks For Players To Respond
Gary Bowyer has challenged his players to wins as many games as they possibly can in the 15-game season remaining.
The manager, who prepares to take his side to Exeter this weekend, is looking for a positive reaction to a disappointing draw against Crewe last time out.
"We've got 15 games left and we've got to win as many as we possibly can. That's what we're trying to do," he said.
"We had a good chat with the players after the game on Saturday and we're all honest enough to say that we weren't at our best by a long shot, but we were in a position where we should have seen the game out.
"It was an honest and frank discussion that took place and sometimes you need those setbacks, if you want to call it that, to clear the air and get ready to go again. That's it now, it's a 15 game season."
Exeter City, who currently sit sixth in Sky Bet League Two, are held in high regard by Bowyer, with his opposite number having been in place at St James Park for 10-and-a-half years.
"They're going to be a tough team because they've got all of their injuries and suspensions back. You see the rewards that Exeter get as a football club for having the stability in Paul Tisdale as the manager and the number of years that he's done there. They've got a model and that's something we're still working very much towards.
"This season has been about stability and we've got that. Now we've got to finish as strong as we possibly can and see where that gets us. From there it's a case of putting that model in place even further that we're trying to implement here. You can't just create a culture overnight, it takes time."
The manager will run the rule over a number of injury concerns ahead of the game, though the recent addition of Ian Black strengthens a midfield that has lacked a little bite without Jim McAlister.
"We all know exactly what Jim brings to the team and we probably feel that we've missed a bit of that. We're delighted that we've got Ian in, he's been in this week and trained with us and he isn't too far away.
"He's obviously got to catch up with match fitness but his experience will get him through games. Watching him in training this week, he's caught up quickly and he's experienced enough to know when to run and not to run," Bowyer added.