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INTERVIEW: We're sticking by them

30 March 2013

Manager on the Shrewsbury game

United manager Greg Abbott spoke to us shortly after full time on Friday.

“I don’t think the football is the most pleasing on the eye at the moment, but I hope people are finding it to be quite exciting,” he said.

“There’s a fair bit of tension and fractiousness around at the moment but we’re giving the fans things to talk about, good and bad. 

“What I am pleased about is that this group of players is giving everything they’ve got. We were untidy and messy at times but it was a good point for us. We’re fighting for our supporters at the moment and things are tough for us, we can’t deny that. There’s a lot of effort going in and sometimes that counts for a heck of a lot.”

“I know people will say that we should have beaten Shrewsbury and they’re probably right,” he added. “But we’ve got a lot of young players out there who are learning their game, and I’m going to stick by them. 

“One player who will definitely start the game on Monday is our keeper. He’s learned more today than he has in the years he has been with this club. A couple of mistakes have been made but we all need to give him every single bit of encouragement we can. He’s been the first to hold his hands up but these things happen. He’s going to be a really good keeper and we are going to stick by him, because he needs us right now.”

“If we’re going to go with young players then we’re going to get this every now and then,” he continued. “We’ve got a mix of young and old and we are all trying to push on together. He was the first person everyone went to in the dressing room because they all think the world of him. I think the fans will be fine with him as well because they know how good he has been.”

“The stats show us that we’ve given far too many goals away this season,” he conceded. “It’s getting better but it is something we know we have to get right. 

“At the other end there is Mathieu Manset who has come in and caused a real bit of excitement. He’s enjoying it here and if we can get him fit we think we’ll have a real one on our hands. He’s been a bonus for us and long may that continue. 

“We were also really pleased with Jordan Mustoe. He struggled a bit last week but his reaction has been magnificent. He was up against a really good player and he kept him quiet, and his delivery from set pieces was quality for us. He’s come to us to learn and to make mistakes, but he’s getting better all the time.”

“Matt Robson going off so early was obviously a blow for us,” he admitted. “He gets up and down and he likes that job out wide, and it meant we had to change things a bit. He’s a big player for us so we’ll always miss him when he isn’t there.”

“The two goals for Lee Miller are massive for him,” he said. “He heard a few grumbles from the crowd but he’s kept working and he’s shown a bit of character to do that. He’s got Mark Beck beside him and that’s another kid who is still finding his way. It’s hard for them but the progress he has made this season is an example of why you have to do things properly with them and stick with them.”

“I didn’t really see either of the penalty incidents,” he told us. “If we were lucky in getting them then I’ll take that. We always back Lee [Miller] to score from the spot because he’s got a really good goals-to-game ratio. We’re delighted that he’s finding the back of the net because it’s a huge part of his game. We still have to be patient with him because he has missed a lot of football and he’s had to play catch-up. He has an influence just by being on the pitch and that’s good to have in your side.”

“We did have some interest in our players as the loan window came to an end on Thursday, but none of it came off in the end,” he said. “Accrington Stanley were interested in three or four of our players because they need a bit of help at the moment. I think there was only ever one of them that was going to go forward, but it hit a stumbling block and it all fell down.”

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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