Mattie's Battling

Matthew Etherington is hopeful of returning to action against Stoke City at the weekend.

He dismisses a report that he is likely to be absent and declares:

"I am probably 50/50 but I am fairly confident I should be all right - I am optimistic."

Matthew, who got injured in training, has missed the last three games and says:

"When I first did it I didn't think it would be that bad, I thought it would be a week at the most.

"But since then it did get a bit sore afterwards, and it has dragged out a little bit longer as groin injuries can do.

"It was very frustrating - but it happens, and I just have to deal with it."

As for the promotion push, Mattie adds:

"We are in the playoff places now, but it is going to be touch and go, and we just have to make sure we win all our games; if we do, then I think we will be all right.

"I would probably say it between us and Millwall for that last spot; if they win their game in hand they go two points clear of us - though I think they have some tough games coming up."

Millwall play Watford on Tuesday night - one of three home games they have left this season - and Mattie says:

"We will all be looking out for that result."

He reckons the run-in will be a test of nerve above all else and adds:

"It is touch and go and about who can handle the pressure.

"We have got some experienced players in the squad - as well as some younger players - so hopefully we can deal with it."

Mattie has Stoke in his sights, then, and he concludes:

"It is a must-win game and I am pushing towards that.

"I spoke to the gaffer today and he said we will do everything we can to make me available.

"So I will look after myself this week and make sure I do my best to be ready."