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INTERVIEW: I feel ready

13 June 2013

Brad Potts on next season

An unbelievable end to the season for first-year professional Brad Potts saw him emerge as a genuine contender for the right back position as manager Greg Abbott looks to reshape his squad ahead of the next campaign.

But where does the player himself stand on where he feels he can best be put to use?

"The way things went for me last season was amazing and I really enjoyed it," he said. "Hopefully I can just keep pushing on from here. 

"I think I'd have to say that my favourite position is in centre midfield but, towards the end of last season, I felt really comfortable at right back as well. 

"As long as I'm playing I don't really mind which position it's in. I had a couple of dodgy performances at right back, when I first played there, but after the break I had I felt like I improved with every game I played. I think playing more games in centre midfield helped me when I went back to right back because I had more game time under my belt. 

"I'm happy to play there again if that's what the gaffer wants me to do next season because it's a role I really enjoy. I love playing football and for the manager to believe in me and put me in the first team when I'm still 18 is a really big confidence boost. I want to make sure I pay him back with my performances as we go on from here."

"I was nervous last season but I feel ready this time round," he admitted. "I've kept my head down and made sure that I'm prepared to work hard and try and get myself a place in the starting eleven.

"My target for next season is to try and be in the first team from the start ... and then try and play as many games as possible. From a team point of view we all know we need to be better than we were last season. It was an up and down year and we struggled to get any sort of consistency. Towards the end we managed to put in some better performances and hopefully we can take that into August and beyond."

"I've enjoyed my summer but I've made sure I've kept myself fit so I can hit the ground running when we come back at the end of the month," he continued.

"The tempo is much quicker compared to the youth team and even the running seemed harder at the start of last season, but I do feel like I'm more prepared for that this time. I'm really focused on the first day of pre-season and it will be nice to come back and put all my effort into training to try and make myself a regular in the team again. 

"I am quite naturally fit but I still like to work at my fitness to make sure I'm keeping up with everyone."

Having emerged from the youth ranks at the same time as Mark Beck, Dave Symington and Josh Todd, he also admitted that the relationship within the group had played a big part in helping them all to push on.

"The fact that we've all been able to stick together has been really important," he said. "We live together during the season and we've all been in Carlisle through the summer to keep fit. We'll all be happy to help the three lads who have made the step up this season and we'll keep pushing them on so they can hopefully do what we did and find a way through to the first team. 

"We've got a really good squad here and all of the senior lads helped us along. Even players like Liam [Noble], who aren't really much older than us, gave us advice because they have the experience to go with it. The coaching staff do the same and it's just a good place to be."

One thing missing from last, for a player who likes to get forward, was an entry in the 'goals scored' column in the matchday programme.

"I'm still gutted I didn't manage to score," he said. "I don't actually know how I didn't score with the amount of chances I had. 

"That will be top of my list next season, but if I'm playing at right back then it's going to be even harder for me. I should maybe just concentrate on trying to stop them from scoring because I don't seem to have much luck at the other end."

His final word was left for departing youth team boss Eric Kinder.

"We're absolutely gutted that Eric has left," he told us. "We were all really close to him after coming up from the youth team and we used to go out for meals and all sorts all the way through the season. 

"I don't think I would be here without his help and I'd like to say a big thank you to him. We all wish him well down at Blackburn. He was really easy to speak to if we ever needed any help and he would always give you some good advice. I am just gutted to see him go."

United Player subscribers can see a video interview with Brad Potts 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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