In the build up to Saturday’s playoff semi-final, David Cotterill gave his thoughts on preparing for the match, last weekend’s win and his experience in the playoffs in England.
How important was it to end the regular season with a win by beating Caernarfon 3-2 last weekend?
“It was vital. It was even more important because we face them again in the playoffs. It gives us confidence because we had been through a sticky patch, so it was important that we went into the playoffs with a win under our belts.”
We’re coming to the end of your first full season in the JD Cymru Premier How have you found it?
“It’s been good. Of course it’s been difficult for all football across the world because of Covid, it’s been a bit stop start and at times it has been hard to keep moral going. But we’ve got a great group here and I think it’s really important that we’ve overcome that and got into the playoffs. Now we want to go that step further, make sure we do the job properly and qualify for Europe.”
Onto the playoffs. You’ve got experience in England of competing in the playoffs with Sheffield United. What are they like to play in?
“It’s what football is all about, you want to play in the big games! Confidence plays a huge part but you just have to be patient and make sure that the occasion doesn’t overawe you. It’s important to keep a steady head and keep focused on the job at hand.”
Preparation for Saturday’s game is key and the squad had cryotherapy last weekend. How did you find that?
“It was good! I think it’s important to recover as best we can. We’ve had a busy block of games, so it’s important that we all get our recovery right so we’re ready for the game on Saturday.”
We’re in the slightly strange position of playing Caernarfon in the playoffs only a week after playing them on the last day of the season. What can we learn from that game going into this one?
“We know they’re a decent team. If we bring our A game and play to our capabilities, we’ll give ourselves a good chance. But we need to match their hard work and effort and hopefully our quality will shine through.”
Finally, what it would it mean for the football club to qualify for Europe again?
“It would be vitally important. The club has gone through a tough period with Covid, as all clubs have, so it would be massive to qualify. We need to take care of Saturday’s game first and foremost and then hopefully be in the final and qualify, that’s what we want to do. Last year was a great experience, but we always want to improve and keep doing better.”