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"We are just focussing on ourselves" says excited Cox

Sam Cox wants the players, coaches and fans to unite at Boundary Park on Saturday and secure a fifth successive season in the National League.

The Stones know a positive result against Oldham Athletic will be enough to ensure they are playing in the fifth tier of English football when the campaign kicks off in August.

Interim coach Cox will send his players out with a positive mindset in front of what should be a decent and loud travelling support.

"I've echoed to the players that it's all about us," said Cox. "We can only control the controllables and focus on us and our game. We'll give the boys a strategy to get success and hopefully implement it. We'll put out a team to win the game. We might need to adapt later on.

"I'm excited. We'd rather not be in this position but it's been an unbelievable learning experience for me. I couldn't have asked for more from the boys. I've been coaching for ten years from grassroots all the way up, done all my badges but nothing equips you for being thrown in at deep end in a relegation battle. It's about man management and I pride myself on that as a player and a captain and I've done exactly the same as a player.

"The fans have been fantastic for me. It's been so nice to be back home after being gone for 5-6 years. The connection I've got is something special. These boys are going to need them again. They have been our 12th man and we need them to get behind us again on Saturday. We need that push. We feel it and the boys feel it. Let's get over the line together.

"Oldham are a good side, a good club with a fantastic tradition and history. We are prepared for that and we must find a way to beat them, get three points and make ourselves safe."

Stones are likely to need a cool head in experienced midfield lieutenant Alex Dyer.

"We need the same energy and commitment that we had on that Thursday and Saturday [against Dorking and Chesterfield]," said Dyer. "That shows what we are capable of. We can beat anyone in this league. The fans go all over the country for us and we need them more than ever on Saturday."

'Keeper Marcus Dewhurst was named Stonescast Player of the Season.

"It's a massive game to stay in the league," he said. "We don't want to rely on other games. We want to get the job done."

Defender Charlie Barker is keen to round off a season that has seen him crowned Young Player of the Year, win Goal of the Season and wear the armband.

"We would love to have it [safety] done sooner," he said. "We know it's going to be a tough game and their fans will get behind them, but we know we can compete with anyone and we can get something out of the game."

Ticket information for the 12.15pm kick-off can be found HERE

*Pictures by Jon Taffel


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