Ahead of this afternoon's vital Sky Bet League Two clash against Crawley Town, Sol Campbell has spoken about the development of the team since we last played The Red Devils in what proved to be his first victory as Silkmen boss.
Sol was adamant that our victory at the Moss Rose in December would not be on the team's mind going into the game and instead wanted to focus on how the club has evolved in the intervening months.
“I think, for me, every game is different. You can’t always look at it like that.
"One thing that has happened is the improvement of the team as a whole.
“I think that will be a significant plus for us because individuals have got stronger and the team have got stronger; tactically we have got a bit more aware and fitter, so that will probably make it a different kind of game.
“They are playing at home, but we are pretty strong and focussed. We have got to make sure everyone does their jobs.”
Sol also spoke about the ways in which he has tried to prepare the side to deal with Crawley’s physical approach.
“Crawley are quite a physical side, a strong side, so we have got to look after those aspects and recognise that some players in their team have that kind of physicality to their play.
“So, we have got to be mindful of that and make sure that we are in the right positions and doing things right all over the pitch.
“I think parts of their team are quite physical and parts that are not so physical. We will have to make sure that we can deal with both.
“So be physical when we need to be physical and then play football at the right time and be quick on our breaks.”
The Manager also spoke about the return of some players from injuries in recent weeks; but was keen to stress that he wanted to make sure the players were match fit before throwing them back into the team to minimise the risk of further injury.
“We are gradually getting back to having a full squad to pick from, but some of the guys that have come back are not fully fit.
“There is being fit from an injury, but there is the next part of it which is being fit enough to play.
“That is the big difference for me and maybe it was slightly different in the past, but the way I look at it, I need the players to be slightly fitter so that when they get back to me it only takes a little bit to get them up to speed.
“So that is a significant change to how it used to be before.
“Some of the players that came into the side were physically fit, but not match fit and that’s something that is changing, and I think it is better for everybody because once you are properly fit, you are going to be protected from injuries.
Sol also acknowledged the distance both the team and the fans will travel for the game and was keen to thank all the fans making the trip - whilst insisting the team will be ready for the game regardless of the journey.
“For me, we all feel the passion from the fans and we are so grateful to those that travel to watch us and support us.
“As I've said before, the fans are the club and we all appreciate everybody who comes down to watch us play.
“It’s a long journey but we have got to make sure that we are focussed, travel well and make sure that we are up for tomorrow’s battle.”