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Sol: "The Hard Work Starts Now"

13 April 2019

At this stage of any season, every game feels like a cup final. Macclesfield Town are no exception to the rule as the manager and players await five more dates with destiny. The latest instalment to follow from a pulsating night of football action on Tuesday night is a trip to Gloucestershire and Forest Green Rovers.

Rovers are currently challenging for an automatic promotion spot under Mark Cooper following only their second full season in League Two and the Nailsworth side will prove another sturdy test for Sol Campbell and his players. 

However, the Silkmen boss is showing no fear at this stage of the season and has urged his players to show the same character and spirit that saw Macclesfield move out of the relegation zone for the first time since August with a 3-2 victory other FGR’s fellow promotion chasers Exeter City.

He said: “We’ve got to continue the form. It’s all about dealing with the emotions, handling the expectations. But, to continue to do the right things.”

“We can’t slack off. the hard work starts now. These last five games are precious for us, we’ve got to approach every single game to win.

“We’ve got to go for it in a focussed way but bring that intensity we had on Tuesday again minus the silly mistakes." 

For the first time in eight months, the Silkmen find themselves outside the bottom two following that emphatic midweek victory. Macc are currently unbeaten in their previous five matches and the manager believes his players have installed a winning mentality no matter who the opposition is.

“Obviously, naturally it has changed the mentality {moving out of the bottom two}”, Campbell added.

“There is a joy to it as well but it’s still not over we’ve got some big games to come and we have to get a result every single game we’ve got to pick up point.

“We can’t slack off. It’s not the time to slack off. The hard work starts now, and we’ve got to really build on that, bottle that emotion, that drive, that desire and keep moving really, maintain the momentum and keep it going.”

For Campbell personally, the former England international has thrived in these pressure game scenarios having won two Premier League title with Arsenal. The Macclesfield boss understands the desperate need for points for everyone associated in the division at this stage of the season but has stated his players need to become ruthless in their approach to games.

He said: “For me, yes, it’s about teams and whose pushing for what, who is going for what but it’s also about character.”

“We’ve got to approach every game now with a winning mentality whoever we play we need to get a result.

“Yes, we need to understand where they are and things like that, but we’ve got to realise as a team that we need the points.

“We respect where they are, but we need to compete and compete we will to see if we can get maximum points or get something out of the game and get a result. In each of these last five games we’ve got to get something out of the game”

“I think for us; I’ve got to manage the joy of getting out of the relegation. But then reality that the job isn’t done. So, you’ve got to balance it.

“I want to harness it make sure we are pushing in the right direction but also the reality that we need to continue progress and continue progressing, doing the right things, and to work for each other. That’s what we need to do and manage that and go again and get a result.”

Ahead of the 150-mile trip to the New Lawn, Campbell added that he may be tempted to make a couple of changes to the team that beat Exeter and also encouraged supporters to replicate the atmosphere they created in mid-week. The manager has called for everyone connected to the club to join the team and make one final push towards safety.

When questioned about changes Campbell said: “Tactically I’m not too sure. Injury wise yes, I am going to make a change, maybe a couple more who knows”.

“But whoever plays they know the drill and we’ve got to have the whole squad focussed. That’s what it is all about whoever comes in slots in does a job and puts a shift and joins the cause.”

“The fans have been incredible, this is what it is all about. Everyone together. From the fans, to the tea lady, to the players, to the hierarchy everyone is together because this is the only way we are going to get out.

“We will win and lose together but this is how we get out we all chip in because they {the fans} are that extra voice on the pitch that the players need, and they respond to that and they appreciate that.”

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