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INTERVIEW: Fankaty Dabo Praises Sky Blues Togetherness

The defender is hoping to achieve promotion with City this term...

7 February 2020

Fankaty Dabo praised the Sky Blues “togetherness” as they look to continue their promotion push at home to Bolton Wanderers in Sky Bet League One this weekend.

The defender believes that their two displays against Birmingham City in the fourth round shows they can compete with Championship opposition and is where they want to be next season.

Despite suffering defeat at St Andrew’s in mid-week, Dabo wants the Sky Blues to maintain that level of performance for the rest of the season and was particularly pleased with the team goals City produced on Tuesday night.

Dabo said: “Playing against Championship teams is what we want to do so to be able to play like that and show our level was heart-warming.

“We showed that we can compete and it was a free hit almost as we were always the underdogs so the level we showed was very good and hopefully we can show that level week in week out.

“Team goals are the best goals to score I think, we could do with some more goals to put more daylight between us and the other teams, but it’s nice to score the team goals that we’re scoring at the moment.

“I think we’re getting more together as a team as the season goes on, as we grow together, we get better rather than me getting better individually, without them I wouldn’t be where I am.”

The 24-year-old is enjoying playing at right wing-back in recent weeks and has adapted well following his return to English football having spent the past two seasons on loan in the Netherlands.

“It’s a really enjoyable position, even though the workload is high, you get to do both sides of the game, which is good, hopefully I can get some more assists.

“The coaching is really good here from the gaffer, from Adi, from Jas, from everyone. I’m always learning every single day and coming in to learn and make sure I’m trying to improve.

“This isn’t the level we all want to be at, we want to be in the Championship next year and if I don’t keep learning then I’m hindering the team and I don’t want to be a weak link in the team.

“I’ve played in League One before and I’m English born and bred so it was different adjusting back to the lifestyle and culture here, but it was normal and enjoyable just to speaking my own language.”

Dabo enjoyed separate loan spells with Vitesse Arnhem and Sparta Rotterdam in the past two seasons and helped the latter achieve promotion to the Eredivisie in 2018/19.

“I won promotion last year and I won the play-offs the year before so hopefully I can make it three promotions in three years this season.

“It’s just taking it one game at a time, but also setting a long-term goal. If you don’t take it one game at a time you can get caught up and lost.

“We speak about eight-game blocks, but we take it one game at a time and Bolton tomorrow is the most important game of our season so far.”

Despite going into the Birmingham tie as underdogs, Dabo wants City to take the same approach in Saturday’s game against Bolton insisting that their mentality remains the same.

“Whether we’re underdogs or favourites there’s still the same job to be done and we have the same mentality, we go out on that pitch to win the game of football.

“If we don’t win that game of football then our goal and target is hurt so we have to make sure we approach it the same way we did against Birmingham.”

Dabo has already played 34 matches for the Sky Blues this season and admits that whilst the workload is tough it’s just part and parcel of English football.

“The workload is tough, but that’s English football, it’s just the mental side of it for me, I can tell myself I’m tired, I can tell myself I’m hurting and then I’ll go into games hurting and tired.

“I try and stay mentally strong and get through the games because they’re not as tough as everyone thinks and because I’m enjoying it, it makes it easier.

“If I run it’s physically demanding! But I’ve got good people in front of me and good people behind me.

“When I can’t get back in, I’ve got people to cover me and look after the job I do and when I can’t get forward there’s people scoring more goals and getting more assists than me.

“Even though I’m doing a lot of running, it’s a team effort, everyone’s doing a load of running and we even do each other’s running so it all balances out.”

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