DARREN Ward has insisted it’s time to stop making excuses for Town’s poor home form and put things right against Oldham this afternoon.
The Robins have not won at the County Ground since the 2-0 victory over Shrewsbury in January, losing one and drawing three of their four games since.
Ward believes the squad may have been guilty of letting their concentration drop at home in the last two months, and wants to go into each of their remaining seven games in a confident frame of mind.
“There have been a few games in which we have let ourselves down and maybe thought it was a win before we even played the game, and it’s up to us to keep on going now,” he said.
“We can’t think like that because it’s been a tough season, but now it’s time for us to knuckle down because there can’t be any more excuses and we’ve got to go into every game thinking we’re going to win it.
“In football it is never just one thing, it’s an accumulation of a number of things, and we are a team with 11 players on the pitch not just one.
“We’ve got to be positive going into the last seven games, and the first one is against Oldham.”
Ward knows rookie Oldham boss Lee Johnson well after the pair were together at Watford, but never expected the 31-year-old to cross into management.
“I know Lee quite well because I was with him at Watford and played against him quite a few times over the years, and fair play for him getting the job,” he said. “A new manager gives the team a bit of a spark and things improve, so we need to be prepared for what we are going to face.”
“I didn’t think he would (go into management) but that’s normally the way, and many players have careers and you don’t think they are going to go on and be managers.
“I heard there were a few applicants and he has got it, so I wish him all the best.”
Following today’s game Town face the trip to league-leaders Doncaster on Monday, and Ward believes his side’s fitness will stand them in good stead.
“It’s very important, every game is vital, and if you look at it is it good that we have two games in quick succession like this? Possibly, because we are a very good team,” he said.
“We’ve got to go and prove we are at the level we think we are and win the game, and I’m hoping it’s going to be a good weekend for us.
“As long as we keep picking up points home and away it will help us out.”