Appleton expects tight encounter

Michael Appleton is confident his players have got what it takes to compete with anyone but says patience is key when it comes to getting a result.

The boss is preparing his squad for a difficult tie against Gillingham on Saturday and knows it will take a tactical performance to overcome Neil Harris’ side.

He said: “We’ve got players that are capable of competing with anyone in this league and I think we’ve shown that in some of the games.

“We’ve got to be patient and understand the importance of the game and I think there is a realisation of that. If it takes a last minute goal to swing it our way then that’s what we’ve got to do.

“It’s going to be a game of chess at times. We’ve got to keep the ball moving, keep it as sharp as we possibly can and make sure that we do better in both boxes.”

Appleton has faced many challenges with team selection this season due to injuries but has belief in the players available.

He added: “It’s just been one of those seasons. I’ve never experienced anything like it anywhere I’ve been and I’ve been in football for a long time.

“We’ve just got to stay calm though. We’ve shown good heart at times and just have to stay focused and work with the players that we have got available.”

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