Simon Lappin insists that City won’t find it hard to motivate themselves tomorrow, as the League One champions prepare for the long trip west to face Bristol Rovers.
With promotion and the title now in the bag, you could forgive Paul Lambert’s men for taking their foot off the gas. But Lappin – who was rested for last weekend’s championship-deciding 2-0 win over Gillingham – is adamant that they will have their professional hats on.
“It’s another game for us and it would not be fair on other teams if we did not go there and put on a professional performance; we must approach it the same as any game this season.
“Confidence is high because we have won the title and we are playing good football again. We go into the game like every game this season.
“Everyone is still on cloud nine and as the manager said the other night, that is why you play football – to win things. And there is no better feeling when you do.
“But we have got to get our serious heads on now, be professional about it and do the job in hand. It will be a difficult game and Bristol will want to go out and win it. As I said before, we just need to approach it in the right manner.”
With two games to go, Lappin is running out of time if he is to get on the scoresheet for the very first time this season. It has become a running joke between reporters and the likeable Scot and while he isn’t going to lose any sleep over it, the former St Mirren man would love to finally get a goal.
For a player with such a sweet left foot, it is certainly a surprise to see him with a big fat zero in the goals column.
“I would like a goal but as I’ve said before, if it meant me not scoring and us winning the league title, I would take that all day long. It would be great to get on the scoresheet but the aim is to win the next two games.
“I’m not going to worry about it too much – if it happens, it happens; if it doesn’t, it doesn’t. On a personal note it has been a great season. I have played a lot of games and great thanks must go to the manager for sticking with me.
“You are not going to play well every game but he has kept me in the side. Hopefully I have repaid him with some of my performances.”
With the division’s top prize wrapped up, thoughts are already turning to life in the Championship. It promises to be an intriguing summer in Norfolk and Lappin is already looking forward to the challenge of the second tier.
“It is the next big thing to look forward to but we know it is going to be another difficult challenge. The gaffer will want to strengthen and bring one or two new faces in to help us.
“We are looking forward to playing at the highest level we can and this is the next step. The squad are looking forward to it.”
Remember that if you are not making the trip to the West Country tomorrow, you can keep up to date with events here on MFW. And if you’re feeling brave, why not join in the conversation? Just add a #ncfc to your message in Twitter or contact me, mfw_tomh.
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