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Interviews

INTERVIEW: Joe says team are on a high

Pritchard enjoying wing back role as Reds look to make it four wins on bounce

19 August 2021

Joe Pritchard may not have been able to claim his first goal of the campaign but he says the mood in the Accrington Stanley camp is high after three successive wins.

The Reds travel to Crewe Alexandra on Saturday looking to get their first League One points on the road after two home successive home wins and a victory at Rotherham in the Carabao Cup prior to that.

Pritchard thought he was off the mark for the campaign on Tuesday when his third minute strike was fumbled by Doncaster keeper Pontus Dahlberg but it was given as an own goal.

“It’s already gone but I would have claimed it. I watched a game the other night where there were about three deflections and it was given to the player who shot but I am not that lucky!” said the 24-year-old.

The season has gone well so far with six points out of an available nine and a second round Carabao Cup clash at Oldham next Tuesday and Pritchard is looking to build on that at Crewe, who have collected one point so far out of their three league games.

“On the back of a defeat in the first game, you obviously look for a bit of momentum and to get some points on the board and we have done that by winning three in a row," said Pritchard.

“The morale is so much better for the group.

“Crewe is certainly a different game to the ones we have had but last season we proved we can play against them.

“There are a lot of good footballers in our team who can get the ball down and play and we can go long as well so we have got the best of both worlds.

“The gaffer and staff put together a plan for each team, playing against different teams and styles, to create chances and credit to all the lads on the pitch we have created chances from all the lads at the back all the way up to the front two.”

The league goals have so far come from midfield in Matt Butcher and Harry Pell but Pritchard doesn’t mind where the goals come from.

“Colby (Bishop) and Dion (Charles) are doing such a good job up front, they are running the channels, keeping the ball.

“The way the gaffer sets up the team with one defensive midfielder and two who are pushing on and getting forward, it means the more people in the box, the more chances you are going to create and credit to the boys for finishing them off.

“Matt’s got a few brilliant finishes, Harry’s header was brilliant and my own goal!

“Sean (McConville’s) crossing as well, it’s everyone coming together and creating those chances. It doesn’t matter who is in there as long as we get the goals and the points.”

Pritchard is playing a wing back role on the right and he says he is enjoying it.

“Wing back is a hard role in this team as the further you go forward, the further you have got to go back but it’s just a case of that’s your job for the team so you have got to do it the best you can.

“My favourite thing to do on a football pitch is create chances but, when you are needed in defence and to cover positions, you get back and do the dirty work as well.”

Pritchard came into Stanley without a lot of league experience after coming through the ranks at Tottenham and then a season at Bolton Wanderers.

He understands that some of the players signed by John Coleman are learning their trade but he admits there is no better place.

“You have seen some of the boys with less experience, Tommy Leigh has made his league debut, Harry Perritt got minutes the other night, they are class and pushing themselves.

“When I was a young player and I came here, I used  to watch players like Sean McConville, Mark Hughes and Seamus Conneely, players with experience, and you just learn so much more watching those players, coming from a different background and I used to really enjoy that.

“For those coming in and watching Morgs (David Morgan) and Harvey (Rodgers), all they have to do is learn from it and add the positives to their game.

“When I came here, I wasn’t guaranteed to play all the time and you have to work for your spot and now I am in a role where I am playing most of the games and doing the best for the team.

“Everyone when they come in, they know the basics, the minimum requirement to play for Accy – working hard and running teams into the ground and when you have got all the players singing off the same hymn sheet, even the new lads who come in, it works a lot easier for us.”

The full pre-match interview video with Joe Pritchard is available to watch on the club's official YouTube channel, CLICK HERE to find out more!


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