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INTERVIEW: A fantastic attitude

27 July 2013

Manager on the Kilmarnock game

United manager Greg Abbott gave us his reaction to the 2-2 draw with Kilmarnock on Friday night.

“We’ve just played well against a good Scottish Premier League side so we come away feeling really happy,” he said. “We had some young players out there but it was great to see how fearless and energetic they were. 

“People have set standards in these last two games that they have to maintain and that’s a challenge they should be laying down for themselves.”

“If I had a criticism then it would be a minor one,” he continued. “It’s that we started slowly and we obviously let them get in front. However, we got ourselves going and I was delighted with the way we worked hard for each other and played our football. 

“It’s a game we could have won, particularly with the number of chances we had, but there were a few reminders for us in terms of keeping our shape and individual responsibilities. But that’s for another day. Right now we should be talking about the way these lads have just performed and about their fantastic attitude.”

“The idea this weekend was to make sure that everybody got 90 minutes and that we came through it fit and ready to train ahead of the start of the season,” he added. “We want to get off to a flyer next weekend and I’m certainly feeling a lot happier now than I was 20 minutes into the Burnley game.

“The thing which destroyed our season last season was the home games where we conceded too many goals. If we can get that toughness and tightness at the back then we are going to see some very exciting players develop at our club.”

“Defensively we have looked much better and we have also seen some really exciting attacking play,” he told us. “We now have real options and that can only be a good thing. 

“Mark [Beck] has got his goals again tonight and he just seems to have the nouse to be in the right place at the right time. At the other end we saw that the two centre halves played really well. 

“I want Mike [Edwards] to be angry enough to prove people wrong because of the goals we conceded last year. He’s not a player who comes in just to go through the motions and I thought he was very good in everything he did.” 

“The forwards are giving us a selection problem but it’s a lovely one to have,” he insisted. “They all look bright and alert and they are the types of player who can bring us different things. 

“We have genuine pace down the right and left in Robson and Amoo and we have two genuine strikers in Lee Miller and Mark Beck. 

“Lewis Guy will be a big player for us and he’ll have a huge role to play. He really enjoys being at the club and he’s looking forward to showing everyone what he can do. He can play off the shoulder, as can Josh Gillies, and we have Alex Salmon who, if he keeps developing, can do any one of a number of jobs.”

And on the goalkeeper situation, he said: “Greg Fleming is in to train with us because we know that we need another keeper to push Mark. 

“We’ll have a look at him because, for whatever reason, he’s lost his way a little bit. It might be one of those where it works out well for everybody – we’ll just have to wait and see.”

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