Graham Kavanagh ahead of the Tranmere game
United manager Graham Kavanagh spoke to us at his pre-match press conference ahead of the visit of Tranmere on Saturday.
“I spoke to the group ahead of training on Thursday morning and I explained to them that games are going to be coming thick and fast over the Christmas period,” he said. “That’s why we brought the bodies in that we did because we want competition for places.
“We will have to utilise the whole of the group and hopefully we’ll get our choices right and we’ll keep picking up three points with each game along the way.
“It’s a busy period of the season and a run of good results could see us jump up the table. If you can cement a good December then it can set the tone going forward. That’ll be part of the message to the group as we go into this weekend.
“We’ve had a free week, in terms of no midweek games, so the lads should be fresh. We’ve looked after them so there are no excuses. I’m looking forward to the game and hopefully, like I say, we’ll put on another good display.
“It’ll be a month where the lads will have to drag the best out of themselves and each other. We want them to keep looking for the maximum they can produce because we want the club to progress. Everyone needs to buy into what we’re trying to do if we really want to achieve that.”
“Tranmere are probably the same as ourselves at the moment,” he added. “They’ve scored a lot of goals and played particularly well in some games but they haven’t quite found that level of consistency.
“They’ve got a number of players who are real threats and they’ll cause us problems if we allow them to. We certainly aren’t going to take them lightly but our confidence is high and we want to take full advantage of that.”
And on the recent events surrounding off-field affairs, he said: “I don’t think there is any suspicion pointed at Tranmere as a club at all. It’s more pointed at the individuals but we do have to say at this point that we don’t actually know the outcome of who has done what.
“In terms of Tranmere, I think they have always been a very good club. They’ll want to put all of that behind them and get a good performance in for their manager.
“I’m expecting it to be a difficult game, there’s no two ways about it, because I know the way Ronnie Moore sets his teams up. They’re very hard working and very well organised, but I will always concentrate more on what we do. I’ve asked the lads for more of the same from what they produced for us last weekend.
“We are striving for back-to-back performances so that we can build up some momentum going into a very busy period. It’s a home game and another chance for us to impress the fans and hopefully the fact that we have a huge game on the horizon will pull one or two more fans in through the gate.
“It’s been a good week for the club because there has been a real excitement following the result last Saturday and the FA Cup draw which followed. We want to build on that but we also have to be aware that Tranmere had a poor result which they won’t be happy about at all. They will look for a reaction and it’ll be up to us to counter that.”
“We’ve got one or two with knocks but we’re working through it,” he said. “Pascal [Chimbonda] picked up a niggle last weekend, which we’re looking at, and we’ll make our final decisions today.
“We’ve also got Dave Symington, who has a problem with his thigh, and he’s another who is being monitored. Other than that we have a fit and fresh squad and we’ve definitely got some interesting selection decisions to make.”
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