Manager ahead of the season opener
United manager Greg Abbott spoke to us ahead of the season opener against Leyton Orient this weekend.
“If we’re not excited now we never will be,” he said. “We’ve done a lot of work and we’ve found out a lot of things about the team over the last few weeks. Right now we think we’re as good as we can be.
“The key now is Saturday and how we start our season. We’re looking forward to seeing some real improvement on last season off the back of the work we’ve done.”
And on the preparations, he said: “We’ve had a few little injuries we could have done without and the ground has been firmer than it ever has been because of the unbelievable weather.
“That doesn’t help, but you just have to get on with it. We’ve coped with it all and here we are in decent shape and looking forward to the season.”
“I expect the lads to work as hard as they possibly can every day of the week from now on,” he explained. “We’re training every day of the week through this season and I want them to give us everything they’ve got. If they do that then there will be improvements in performances without a shadow of a doubt.”
Looking at the squad, he added: “We have a nice blend with some experience and some players with as yet unknown qualities. The senior lads will help the young players we have and I think the development of those lads might just be one of the big plusses from our group this year.
“There will be more responsibility placed on our senior players than they’ve ever had. They’ve been told to control and discipline the dressing room and to make sure everyone is doing the right things. We’re giving them some ownership and some leadership and there is a good positive feeling around at the moment.
“I think we have a lot of players who the fans will enjoy watching. They’ll need a bit of patience, at times, because of where they’ve come from but we will all benefit if everyone is on their side from the first whistle.”
“I think getting off to a good start this weekend is vital,” he told us. “We want people to be talking about us for all the right reasons so what we do on Saturday could set the tone.
“We’ll all keep working as hard as possible and, if we get the little bit of luck we need along the way, we’ll see that improvement in performances we’re all after.
“We’re ready, we’re going to give it a great shot and if everybody buys into what we’re doing then we might just be one of the surprises of the season. I just hope that we get out there now and produce some of the good football we expect them to.
“There’s a real determination and desire in that dressing room and they deserve to have a good season. I want us all to repay the faith and support we’ve had from the fans because times have been really tough. Doing that is massive for me.”
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