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Mark Bonner Previews Wycombe Clash

4 April 2022

Mark Bonner sat down with local media on Monday morning to preview his side's clash with Wycombe Wanderers on Tuesday (5th April)...

On Saturday’s win:

“It's certainly one of the highlights of the season for us, and I guess the memories that has created for supporters as I know they had a lovely day out. You have to do some serious miles throughout the season, so when you've got one that's fairly close and can travel in numbers too, it’s always nice.

“We’ve had so many highlights and games that people have loved; I think that's important and certainly memorable for supporters and of course, it’s nice to be in the position that we find ourselves in.

“We haven't played against teams at this level for a long time and a lot of the supporters didn’t get to experience the promotion last season, so there's sort of a double celebration in this situation.

“We also have to understand how big results like that are for us, with where we are at the moment, and what we're trying to build as we try to compete more and more with the teams at the top of this league.

“However, wins against the top teams in this league will always be hard to come by, so it was an excellent result, performance on a really good day for us.

“It’s a result that we can learn a lot from but take a lot of confidence out of.”

On Tuesday’s opponents:

“When we played them last month they were on a run without winning, and when you’re on a long run, every week is just closer to it coming to an end, isn't it? Unfortunately for us, their run came to an end that night.

“Ipswich were on a long undefeated run before the weekend, especially at home and we ended that on Saturday.

“When we played Wycombe last month, they played a completely different way, in terms of the system that we had prepared for, and they have since played in that way and have been picking up some good results.

“They've picked up four clean sheets on the bounce and are really hunting down those play off positions, which looks like being a really exciting end the season for those.

“I listened to Gareth’s [Ainsworth] interview after their win against Doncaster on Saturday, and he spoke about this Tuesday being a must win game for them and I think we've got some games towards the end of the season that will be must win games for teams.

“Looking at this week alone, we’ve got Wycombe who are fighting to make the play-offs, and then on Saturday we host Morecambe who need to come and win here to move out of the bottom four.

“So for us, that creates a nice motivation to be as competitive as we can.

“We’re going to have to make sure that we start well and that we set up in a way that’s difficult for them to create chances against on Tuesday. They’ve got some real attacking quality that makes you defend your box constantly.

“We’ve also got to see how dominant we can be with the ball, we want to have it but we need to do more with it than we did at their place last month.”

Team news:

“We just need to see how Liam [O’Neil] and Shilow [Tracey] are as to whether there’s a chance of any of them taking part. Everybody else has come through Saturday well.

“Liam’s made a big impact on the team when he's been available over the last couple of years. So it's frustrating for him because he just came back in the team.

“Saturday’s performance would have taken a physical toll on the players, so how they are in training will determine whether we make some changes, which I expect will happen.

“Looking ahead also, it might be a case that we see six different teams in the final six games, as the position we’re in allows us that freedom to look a little to next season, which is exciting really.

“We want to finish the season strong and pick up some more big results.”

On Matt Walker and Tom Pell leaving at the end of the season:

“That’s the reality of this industry, but you never think it's going to happen. People have been around so long, you know, like some of our players have never known this club without those two.

“I've worked with Pelly the entire time of been here, he’s been here 16 years now in the role and goes on to a great opportunity for him, which is really well earned.

“In the case of Tom, he’s been brilliant at any job he’s done in the Academy. Then he stepped on one or two occasions and helped us out in the first team, when Gary’s been off, so he's been a real close colleague of mine.

“With Matt, he's always been around the first team with me since I've been here. Back in the days when we all did about five jobs!

“He was coaching the CRC team with me, doing the fitness training for the first team and the education teacher for the scholars at the same time, as well as doing gym instructions for every player in the club. So that's the year of that. That's the type of person that we're losing with Matt.”

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