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INTERVIEW: It's about performance

22 August 2013

The manager ahead of the Colchester game

Manager Greg Abbott spoke to us ahead of the trip to Colchester on Friday evening.

“We’ve got some strong players back with us now and we almost have a full group to pick from,” he said. “The young players have been brilliant but I think they need to be slowly fed into the team rather than having to play under a lot of pressure every week. 

“We need to work ourselves out of this situation and get ourselves back to playing at the level we all know we're capable of.”

"We've planned this trip with that in mind," he added. "We trained at Garforth on the way down, which was fantastic for us and we have to say thank you to them for that. It was part of the reason why we came across here during pre-season because it's important that we have relationships like this. Both clubs have been able to help each other out. We had a full training session at a good facility, which is vital when you consider that we will be playing a game tomorrow evening."

“We want to put Colchester on the back foot and make sure we protect our goal in this one,” he told us. “We have to stay in the game and keep a clean sheet for a lot longer than we have been doing. We were out of the game after five minutes last Saturday and there isn’t much you can do after that.

“It’s all about performance on Friday night. If we get that then it will lift some of the fans – not all of them – because that won’t happen right away. If we can follow that with another good performance then we can win more and more back as we go along. That has to be the aim.”

“Getting the spine of the team back will be important for us,” he said. “We haven't had a full squad to pick from yet this season and that has made it very difficult. Everybody knows we should be better than we are at the moment but we haven’t yet had the people who would usually be first on the team sheet available.

“We haven’t been as mentally tough as we need to be and we've had to ask boys to do men's jobs in the last couple of games. I think we'll really benefit if we can get our more senior players involved and firing on all cylinders.”

“Colchester have had a great start,” he said. “I feel for Joe [Dunne] because he’s in the same position as me. I spoke to him last season and I told him that he looked like he was on his knees. It looked like the pressure of the job had completely got to him. 

“He’s battled through it and fair play to him. They’ve had a flying start and we went to watch them, and they put on a terrific performance last week. 

“He’s getting a bit of support and a bit of belief in himself now. He’s shown great character and he’s had a lot support and patience from the people around him. They’re similar to us on paper but they’ll be full of confidence and momentum. We’ve got to find that in ourselves and bridge that gap.

“We'll go there to put them under a massive amount of pressure so we can get the result this club needs. The lads have to believe in what they’re doing and they have to believe in how we are trying to play. We’ve got some strong players back and that will make a difference.

“It's my job to make sure everyone knows how important this game is and to make sure they play with freedom so they go out and perform as well as we all know they can. 

“They’re looking for someone to lead them because, for me, it’s a war. That’s because we can’t afford to lose any more battles.”

United Player subscribers can see a video interview with Greg Abbott now. Click HERE to go to the Player platform. Follow the same link for more on United Player, and to subscribe.

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