Manager on the Sunday victory
United manager Greg Abbott gave us his reaction to the 1-0 victory over Coventry City shortly after full time on Sunday.
He said: “I think we more than got a response today but, to be honest, I didn’t expect any different.
“We don’t want to be getting into these situations too often, but we have to do what we have to do to get results.
“Man-for-man, in terms of work rate and determination, I think we came out on top in this one. Last week I didn’t think we were a very good team or a very good management group; this week I think we’re a good group again. I didn’t like the lads after the Swindon game but I can tell them all that I like them again now because they have gone out there and done a job for us.
“Coventry have been on a run which is probably the best in our league recently. It took every ounce of energy for us to beat them, but I think we deserved the victory in the end.
“You do want the second goal, if you can get it, and believe me I go through hell out there sometimes. The club needed a result from this game and that’s three on the spin at home. We’ve got ourselves nine points out of fifteen from the last five games so that isn’t too bad for us at all.
“The fans were behind us all the way today with the noise and cheering and you have to thank them for that. They’ve seen us play well and I think they’ll have enjoyed it. I’m proud of my team after that and I think the supporters will be as well.
“I think we had the better chances overall, even though we had a couple of scares, and that’s a credit to the lads. Last week, without our keeper playing as well as he did, Swindon could have scored eight or nine goals. This week we have shown much more of the type of things we want to see and we can all go away with smiles on our faces again. I was mortified for the fans who made the trip to Swindon last week because it was awful for them. This week I’m really pleased for those who have come along.
“We didn’t need to talk too much in the dressing room after the game. There was blood from our own players because they wanted to make sure they kept a clean sheet. That’s how much it meant to them. Sean O’Hanlon and Chris Chantler were immense and they were typical of the attitude right through the squad.
“Sean is a proper number five who looks like he enjoys defending. He’s obviously helped us because we’ve kept a clean sheet and, in hindsight, we can say he’s had a positive impact. He’s set his own standard and the fans will love him if he keeps blocking it and heading it in the same way he did today. However, it wasn’t just about one player. We’ve responded well as a group and that was important.
“The decision on the captain’s armband is a huge one, I don’t mind admitting that. It’s something I felt had to be done. Danny [Livesey] needs to concentrate on his job as a defender, and that has been difficult for him because of the amount of defending we have had to do. I’ve had a word with him because I think Lee [Miller] is in a better position to influence others from the position he has on the pitch. So, from now on, Paul Thirlwell will be our club captain and Lee Miller will be our team captain whenever he goes onto the pitch. It’s something I would expect Lee to treasure because it is bound to hurt the players I have taken it away from. I’ve had to manage Danny’s disappointment but, as I’ve told him, he has been playing really well through a difficult time and we need him to give us more of that.
“Matt Robson has been one of our best players this season. In the system we play we need our wide players to get forward and chip in with a few goals, if they can. We haven’t had as many goals from midfield as we would have liked so, if we can get them chipping in as well, we should be in a good position. Hopefully this result will kick-start us for the improvement we need to see for this season and going forward.”
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