'The gaffer's drilling it into us that we're going for it next year' - Downes on Town's promotion bid
PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 May 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Flynn Downes is ready for a break after a draining campaign - but is already thinking about next season's League One promotion bid.
Downes scored the opening goal in Sunday's 3-2 final-day victory over Leeds United, ensuring a positive end to a disastrous season which ended in demotion to the third tier.
The midfielder revealed manager Paul Lambert has already made it clear to his players that promotion is the target next season, with Downes excited to be a part of that.
“We 100 per cent need to come back feeling like we can win promotion,” Downes said.
“The gaffer's already drilling it into us, standing there and saying 'next year we're going for it'.
“That's our mentality and hopefully we can come back and start well, getting a few wins under our belts and getting some momentum.
“We need to get used to the winning feeling. If you win games you can get yourself in that winning spiral.”
Sunday's win was just the fifth of Town's season, a victory Downes believes the players owed the club's fans as well as themselves.
“We owed the fans that performance,” he said. “We owed ourselves and the staff at the club that, too.
“We've put in a few other performances like that but haven't had the rub of the green and haven't been able to win games, so it was good to get that.
“We haven't been finishing our chances in games so it was good to go out there, score three goals and win the game.
“When I scored I was delighted, obviously, but it was mad to see Dozzer (Andre Dozzell) score as well. When he was through I was thinking 'if Doz scores here that's it, I'm done.' It was a crazy feeling to have both of us on the scoresheet.”
Lambert addressed his players at Playford Road yesterday before sending them off on their summer break, with pre-season due to begin at the end of June.
“I think we all need a bit of a rest because it's been a long year,” Downes said.
“Next year is going to be even longer with more games so we need the rest this summer, we need to freshen up and we need to go again.
“I always keep myself fit over the summer, keep myself in the gym and there's a chance I might be with England at the Toulon Tournament but hopefully I can get away, get some sun and come back fitter and stronger.”