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Liam McAlinden: "We need everyone to get behind us"

Liam McAlinden talks about how the City fans can help the Grecians over the line this season and previews tomorrow's match with Yeovil Town

13 March 2018

Forward Liam McAlinden is hoping the Exeter City supporters can help push the side to a strong finish to the Sky Bet League Two season as they look to gain promotion.

City go into their final 12 games of the campaign in a good position with games in hand on many of their promotion rivals, giving Paul Tisdale’s side a great deal of optimism going into the final months of the season.

The Grecians welcome Yeovil Town to St James Park as they play one of their games in hand on Tuesday night, and McAlinden thinks the fans can make a real difference for the players.

He said: “We need everyone to get behind us. They say a home crowd can be a 12th man sometimes so hopefully the supporters can get behind us with a big push now because, I really believe, that with the squad that we’ve got we are going to be right up there.

“With our home form the way it has been over the season we can have a real go at it.”

McAlinden has missed recent matches with the likes of Carlisle United, Grimsby Town and Crewe Alexandra having picked up an injury, but the forward is fit and ready to go should he be selected.

He continued: “I picked up a slight groin strain about three or four weeks ago. I’m back fully fit now and ready for selection.

“The game against Yeovil is one of our games in hand that we’ve been waiting to play so we’ll go into the game full of confidence and hopefully we can get the right result.

“You don’t like to look at the league table too much, but as it gets closer to the end of the season you start seeing that we’re racking up some games in hand, but they’re only useful if you get three points from them. We all know what we need to do.”

The 24-year-old is expecting a difficult test from Darren Way’s side seeing as City have been beaten by the Glovers twice this season, once in the Checkatrade Trophy and once in the league in December.

McAlinden said: “It was a tough game away from home just before Christmas and we know what they’re about. It’s not a game that we take lightly, it’s important with it being a game in hand that we start pushing on. Going off the back of three good results now it’s a must win game.”

With their games in hand to play, the Grecians find themselves playing four matches in the next two weeks, something that McAlinden believes the squad are ready for.

He continued: “We weather ourselves for it, you have to be able to play Saturday and then Tuesday. Throughout the season if you aren’t playing every Saturday then there are always reserve games on so everybody is ready to go. We’ve got a big squad with a lot of capable players, we’ll have a good enough squad to go and take the game to Yeovil and try and get the right result."

Much has been made of the St James Park pitch of late, with conditions often unfavourable for teams who like to keep the ball on the ground, but McAlinden believes City have found a way of playing at home and they should stick to it if it continues to bring positive results.

He said: “It can be tough, but you’ve got to get on with it. When we were kids we would’ve played on a lot worse than that and we wouldn’t have batted an eyelid.

“You have to get on the ball, be confident, back your own ability and play your own game. If we’re getting results playing a bit longer than we would usually then we’ve got to stick at it. We all know what direction we want to go in, so if it’s working then we have to stick by it.

“You have to back yourself to play, get on the ball and do that bit extra and bring a bit of spark. We’ve got more than enough players in the team that can do that, if we need a moment of magic. The pitch is an excuse, but you can’t keep using it.”

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