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Interviews

INTERVIEW: The run has been pleasing

8 February 2013

Manager ahead of the Stevenage visit

Manager Greg Abbott spoke to us ahead of the visit of Stevenage on Saturday.

He said: “Last weekend was a great result for us. 

“However, it leaves me asking the same question as the fans. Why haven’t we done that more consistently and on more occasions? I won’t be happy until we’re back up the table where I think we should be and that will come by producing the same level of display week in and week out.” 

“We have had our issues though, as I’ve already discussed with the press, so maybe I need to be a little bit tamer with my ambition at the moment,” he added. “But I’m burning inside to be successful for me, the club, the staff, the board, the fans and for everybody.”

“I don’t get carried away with beating Tranmere because there isn’t too much difference between the sides, on paper,” he continued. “They’re having a good season and they’re a credit to themselves for having maintained that position. 

“The run we’re on at the moment has been very pleasing for us. The players are bouncing and the home form is a huge part of that. They’re looking forward to the game on Saturday rather than having a fear of being out there. The atmosphere around the place is different and everyone at the club has worked hard to get us to this situation.”

“We’ve got thirteen points from our last seven games and that’s up there with the best in the league,” he said. “I want to keep that going because I want us to finish as high up the table as we can.

“I want us to show people that we’ve been through what we’ve been through this season and we’re going to come out of it much stronger on the other side. The intention is for us to build as we go forward and the rest of the work for this season is with that in mind.”

On tomorrow’s visitors, he said: “I went to watch Stevenage the other night and they are another side, as with so many this season, who find it tough to win at home. However, they were the better side against Notts County on Tuesday.

“They got men behind the ball and they were extremely well organised. They make sure that if you don’t defend properly then they fill the holes and make it hard for you to get the ball back. 

“It might be one where we have to be patient and we’ll have to try to break them down by passing it around and by working hard to close them down. 

“They’re a very good unit under Gary [Smith], as they were under Graham Westley, so it won’t be easy for us at all. We need to guard against over-confidence and make sure we do everything properly.”

Speaking about the influence from the terraces, he said: “The fans have done their bit because they have had to sit there through some really average performances. 

“That has upset me and the players and we’ve made life difficult for ourselves. Things now look much better but it’s up to us to keep doing the things which will bring people back to us.”

The big news of the day, of course, has been the ankle injury which has ruled defender Chris Chantler out for the remainder of the season.

“The injury to Chris [Chantler] is a blow because we didn’t think the injury was as serious as it is,” he explained.

“The first two scans showed minimal damage, hence he nearly played a couple of weeks ago. 

“But he was still complaining of soreness, and it kept swelling up, so we had him scanned again. Dolly [Neil Dalton] has got him quickly to the operating table and hopefully that will benefit him in the long run.

“It’s horrible for Chris on a personal level because he has been doing ever so well. He’ll be missed because he’s been one of our most consistent players, but it’s happened and we have to deal with it.

“It opens up opportunities for other players, in terms of how we do deal with it, and it’s up to them to step up to the plate and stake a claim.”

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 information on United Player, and to subscribe.

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