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Smallwood: ‘We’ve Been Working Hard’

24 September 2021

Captain Richie Smallwood says the team have been working hard on the training field as they prepare for Saturday’s trip to the bet365 Stadium to take on Stoke City.

The Tigers are looking to respond to recent defeats against Blackburn Rovers and Sheffield United.

Smallwood has come back into the starting line-up in recent weeks and says the team are working hard to turn their fortunes around.

“Apart from the odd couple of games, where you’d say we didn’t deserve anything, I think we’ve been in, and played some good stuff, in majority of games.

“We’ve just been a little bit lax in certain departments and I think that’s why we haven’t scored goals and why we've conceded them.

“In general play, I think it would be harsh to say we deserve to be on this run we’re on.

“We’re playing some decent stuff and getting into decent areas but whether it’s the end product, the final pass, or our defending, that last little bit can be improved on.

“That’s what we’ve been working hard on this week to put right for Saturday.”

Although the Potters were beaten in their last outing in the Championship against Derby County, Michael O’Neill’s side remain in the play-off places and will have had their confidence boosted by a midweek win against Watford in the Carabao Cup.

However, Smallwood doesn’t believe the Tigers have anything to fear on Saturday.

“I think we just need to keep trying to do the right things,” Smallwood added.

“We’ve played against a back three quite a lot.

“I’m not sure if they’ve got a few injuries or whether they’ve got some of their main players coming back.

“We just need to be a bit more aggressive in both boxes.

“If we can do that, I’m sure we’ll get on the end of a few crosses or a few passes and score some goals.”

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