Barrow game against Nuneaton "biggest of the season"
Last updated at 17:02, Friday, 15 February 2013
BLUEBIRDS skipper Mike Pearson labelled tomorrow’s relegation home crunch clash with Nuneaton as the biggest game of the season – before appealing to the club’s downtrodden fans to play their part in reviving their flagging survival bid.
Third-from-bottom Barrow will attempt to breathe new life into their Blue Square Bet Premier campaign following demoralising back-to-back thumping defeats at Mansfield Town (8-1) and Southport (5-2).
But despite the Bluebirds’ alarming downturn in form, they could propel themselves out of the bottom-four drop zone tomorrow by seeing off Nuneaton, who trail Dave Bayliss’s men by a solitary point, having played one game more.
With the stakes being so high Pearson admits tomorrow’s basement battle is a must-win game, before Barrow turn their attention to Tuesday’s home match with mid-table Woking.
The 25-year-old centre-back said: “For me, this is the biggest game of the season and we definitely want three points, nothing less,
“Looking at the next two games, we’ll be looking at getting six points to maybe pull ourselves out of that bottom four.
“It’s been difficult recently because we’ve suffered two heavy defeats and conceded too many sloppy goals, and that seems to have been the case all season.
“But that’s over with now, so we’ve got to get on with it, look forward to the next couple of games and get as many points as we can.
“We want to win for the manager just as much as we do for ourselves – none of us want to be in this position, so we want to get out of it as quickly as possible.
“We want the win for everybody – the fans, the club and everybody involved. I think we will definitely get out of the position we’re in so it’s just a matter of doing the job.”
While 81 travelling fans witnessed Tuesday’s drubbing at Southport, Pearson is banking on more passionate backing when Barrow return to Holker Street tomorrow – after a decent 1,188 crowd roared them on to a 1-0 success over promotion contenders Luton Town a fortnight ago.
“My message to the fans is to stand behind us,” added Pearson.
“They’ve been great at home and away all season because they always cheer us on, and even if we’re defeated they clap us at the end.
“We know we can get out of trouble, so if they stay behind us I’m sure it will come good in the end.”
Barrow’s chances of remaining in English football’s fifth tier were handed a timely boost this week when Bayliss recruited experienced 40-year-old centre-back Efe Sodje on a month’s loan deal from League One side Bury.
The former Nigeria international and Championship defender, who has made more 200 appearances for lower league outfit Bury, beat the registration deadline to start alongside Pearson at Southport.
“Efe coming into the club is a massive boost for us because his experience means he brings a hell of a lot to the table,” said Pearson.
“We all did well in the first half at Southport, it was the second-half performance that let us down.
“So he’s a massive figure for us and hopefully he can help us get out of trouble. I can only learn from him because he’s played hundreds of Football League games and he’s been about for a long time.
“To play alongside someone with such vast experience can only help us.”
Bayliss suddenly has a host of defensive options at his disposal after also signing fellow defenders Danny O’Donnell (currently injured with a shoulder injury) and youngsters Tom Eckersley and Sam Hibbert.
And despite being ever-present for the Bluebirds this season, even Pearson is looking over his shoulder.
“The manager has got options now so he can chop and change as he wishes,” he said.
“He’ll look to play his strongest back four, so it’s up to each player to prove that they should be playing and do what we’re paid to do, which is to defend and keep a few clean sheets.
“I don’t take my place for granted and I give 100 per cent in every game – if I don’t play well then I know someone can take place.”
First published at 15:58, Friday, 15 February 2013
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
Have your say
C'mon guys,stop nit-picking,Mike Pearson said FOR HIM,this is the biggest game of the season.
It sounds like if we DONT say "it's the biggest game of the season" we stand some chance. Hope we don't say it again.
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