Luke Coulson admitted to “beating himself up” after not grabbing a goal at the EBB Stadium… but then promised he would bag a few more in the play-offs if Fleet were to get there!
“I was definitely beating myself up after the first chance and I think maybe that had a little psychological effect going into the next one,” the Fleet No.25 told BBC Radio Kent’s Charles Webster. “Sometimes I was trying to be a bit too precise rather than just hitting it as hard as I could. I’m saving the goals for the play-offs if we make it, you can hold me to that!”
The 23-year-old wasn’t too disheartened though and was pleased to be getting into goalscoring areas and causing the Shots plenty of problems through the 90 minutes. “The positive for me is that I’m getting into the positions,” he said. “The runs are good and the lads are finding me and I think we exposed their weaknesses. I thought we were the better team throughout the whole 90 minutes and unlucky to come away with just a point. With Payne, Powell and Drury in there, three centre midfielders that you’re going to have to go a long way to beat in this league, I know as soon as they get the ball I can make the right run and they’ll find me.”
After the troubles of Warrington in midweek, Coulson admitted the side underperformed but all they could do to rectify that was to put it behind them. “Maybe we were a bit complacent going into the Warrington game thinking it was a done deal beforehand,” he conceded. “That cost us, especially with the extra fixture at Warrington. But we’ve grouped together since then and put it to bed. We focused on this game and it speaks volumes about the staff, the club and the whole team that we were able to bounce back and put a performance in like that.
“We stayed in the changing room for 30 minutes, we spoke, we got things out in the open and we put it to bed there and then. So as soon as we were back on the bus, it was smiles and it was concentrate on Aldershot, recover and look ahead. Even when we came in Thursday, there was no talk of the [Warrington] game, it was how are we going to beat Aldershot. I think that’s the way it’s got to be after a loss. So now that’s a performance we can build on and we take into Boreham Wood, which is going to be another huge game and if we work as well as we did today and I can put my chances away… the 17 that there were! … I think we’ll win the game.”
Asked about his thoughts of the play-offs, Coulson – like his manager – felt that the less emphasis on them, the better his teammates would respond.
“You want to be positive, and you want to say yeah, we’re going to make the play-offs,” he replied, “but at the same time that does affect some players psychologically and the pressure builds and the expectations. So the gaffer, he looks after us and gets us up for the games. We’ve come away to Aldershot, got an excellent point, they’re second in the table, on good form and now we take that into Boreham Wood who are above us. We beat them and all of a sudden the play-offs are looking like a reasonable objective. There’s still 15 games after that we’ve got to dig deep, [there’s] a tough one to follow with Tranmere away.
“We know how good we can be. The fans are going to get disappointed when we go somewhere we’re expected to win and we might only come away with a point because we’re tired or leggy and it just doesn’t work out. But hopefully they’ll have come today and really enjoyed the game and have that belief that we can take into the next one.”
Listen to the full interview below.