11 games remain in our campaign. And a top six finish is certainly within our grasp. But there is a lot of work to be done to make sure we stay in the top spots that we have occupied from the very start of the season.
“It’s getting very intense,” Pauno said. “Everyone is doing their homework and everyone is expecting someone else to slip. Maturity and experience will play a big part.
“But most important will be the things that we control – the talent we have in our group, the good preparation we all put in.
“Now it’s going to be the teams who have more experience, who have belief, who have team spirit and the teams who are better prepared – they will be the ones to succeed.
“I believe we have all that, but we will continue to do our homework, aim for consistency and control what we can control.
“We have got what it takes to continue being successful. However, it’s a marathon and we’re still not at the final part of the season.
“At this point we just have to focus on the next game. We will keep working, we will keep trying to improve and we will keep committing.”
The first team finally have a week free of a midweek encounter, allowing for more time to tend to the wounds that have ruled out a number of first team stars in recent weeks – ahead of a trip to Nottingham at the weekend.
“This week is not really a break for us, but it does give us a little bit more time. A little bit more time to recover but also more time to practice,” Paunovic continued.
“We need this week with no fixture to recover and refresh the guys ready for another stretch of three games. And Forest is just around the corner – it’s only a week between games.
“We’ll look to build our momentum in the next three games. Right now, though, we need to give our guys a big thumbs up, some time to rest, some time away from each other a little bit and then when they come back to train, we do it all again!”