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Club News


5 August 2012

Manager reaction to the Boro friendly

United manager Greg Abbott spoke to us about the Middlesbrough friendly shortly after full time on Friday night.

He said: "The reason we like these games is because they give us a real test and that was definitely the case in this one.

"When they moved the ball about they were very good and the encouraging thing for us was that we matched them.

"We probably won't come up against too much of that in our league but we have seen that we can compete and we know that we have to play the game at a good tempo all the way through.

"The biggest positive is that we can see we're heading in the right direction even though there is still a bit of work to do.

"The chances we created were decent and we defended well at the other end so we're coming together as a unit, which is what we've been working on.

"If I'm being really critical then I would have to say I thought we weren't quite there in the first half. We sat a little bit too deep and we weren't as confident going forward. We addressed that and we looked sharper after the break.

"Middlesbrough are a very good side and even they have said that we looked the better side for spells of the game, and we have to take positives from that. We're coming into the start of the season in the right frame of mind and hopefully that will help us to get some momentum going, starting with Accrington next week.

"The first year players have been the ones everyone has talked about this summer and they have worked well. Brad [Potts] will have learned a lot just from that one moment of skill where he was taken by surprise, and for the rest of the game he hasn't looked out of place at all. I thought he was excellent. He knows there are things he has to work on but he's definitely showing us that he is learning all the time.

"Mark Beck has come on and caused problems yet again and Dave Symington is chomping at the bit every week. The one we haven't seen yet is Josh Todd but we aren't too worried about him. We think he's going to be a good player as well.

"We're very pleased that we've got Alessio [Bugno]. He's another with areas to work on but he's starting to come to terms with the physical side of things already. The crowd like him and he'll get confidence from that, and once he has really settled in to how things are over here I'm sure he'll progress even more.

"We're looking better with the injury situation at the moment. JP McGovern has recovered well from his hernia operation and he is doing more and more work every day on the training pitch. It's one of those which heals quite quickly so he'll keep doing what he's doing with our medical people and he'll be back in full training as soon as he can be.

"Paddy [Madden] is still a little while away and Rory [Loy] is progressing steadily, and the key with both of them is not to rush things. Frank [Simek] missed out in this one but, again, that was nothing serious and he should be back with us sooner rather than later.

"We have another really tough game to look forward to on Tuesday night when we go to Morecambe then the focus switches to Saturday. It's a big week for everybody but this is what we've worked for and it's what it's all about."

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