Downing - We're Fit & Ready To Go
Caretaker boss Keith Downing has said he has a fully fit squad to choose from ahead of the game against Hull this weekend.
Speaking to wba.co.uk ahead of the clash, downing had nothing but praise for the way the players have dealt with the departure of Steve Clarke, and he hailed their professionalism given their response in training this week and the way that they have prepared for the upcoming game.
Of course Downing has been here before really in the caretaker role, although this is the first time team selections and direct management will fall under his remit and a number of the players have also experienced times like this, so it's no shock to see them focusing on their own jobs and we just have to hope that this transmits to the pitch.
'Myself and Deano and have got a good response. The players are also challenging themselves. We put it out to them that they've got to challenge each other, demand off each other, and raise their standards by five to ten per cent. We need to focus and concentrate on what we're doing.'
Downing goes on to say that from the moment the players cross the line it's down to them to produce though, and he's confident that they will do just that as he says they have a steely determination to put things right because they know the run that we are on is not good enough.
As for his first XI, Downing says he's very close to finalising who will pull on the shirts this weekend, and those he selects, he expects to do the job admirably.
One selection headache he does have is whether to keep faith with Boaz Myhill, or recall the now fit Ben Foster. More often than not, team spokesman at points like this, Steven Reid has chirped up on this point saying that it will be a massive decision for Downing because despite results, Myhill's form has been very good since he stepped up to the plate and received his longest run in the team (14 games) but of course Ben is our No 1.
As for Foster himself, he's also given an interview since making a return to the pitch for our U21s where he got 45 minutes under his belt.
Modest as ever, whilst he's delighted to have got his feet back on the grass, he admits his first battle is in convincing the coaching staff that he is ready and right for a return to first team action, and he knows he's going to have to train hard to oust Myhill from behind the sticks.
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