Graham Kavanagh on the Fleetwood game
United manager Graham Kavanagh spoke to us about the Johstone’s Paint Trophy quarter final away game at Fleetwood on Wednesday evening.
“I think this is a great competition because this is the one realistic chance for teams at our level to get to a final that’s played at Wembley,” he said. “We’re the same as every other club, we’re looking to have a couple of good cup runs and this is one of them we target.
“Financially it’s important because if it goes well it puts money in the coffers, and that’s of benefit to all of us. It’s all to play for and we’re going to there to try to stay in what is a very enjoyable competition.”
“In terms of this game it’s a great opportunity for the lads,” he added. “We’ll be live on TV and we haven’t had that opportunity too many times in the recent past.
“The lads have a chance to showcase themselves and hopefully put in a good performance. We want to show people that we can play an attractive brand of football and we ant to entertain the viewers who tune in.”
“It’s an important game because we’re only four games away from Wembley as things stand,” he told us. “You can actually start to smell and taste it if you get through this round, so it’s something to aim for.
“This will be a very difficult game because they are an extremely good side, particularly at home. They have some good players and an excellent manager. We have to go there to show them respect at the same time as we try to play our own game.
“We’ve prepared diligently and we hope we can cause them one or two problems. It’ll be a tough test but it’s a game we feel we can win.”
“The advantage they have is that they are at home and they will have some very good support,” he explained. “They’ll be full of confidence and they have already shown they have a real belief in the way they’re playing. We’ll have to be on our game, but that’s the same every week.
“We performed extremely well last Tuesday against Wolves and the challenge is to do that again. The next game is always the most important and we should see an opportunity, with the injuries we have in the squad, for some players who haven’t played regularly to show everyone what they’re about.”
“Fleetwood play at a high intensity and they do like to move the ball around quickly,” he said. “With it being a narrow pitch we should find that a lot of it will come down the middle of the park. We’ve got to try and make it as big as we can, in the way we use our possession, so it comes down to the intelligence in our play as to whether we will go through the tie or not.
“For me it’s all about the mindset of the group. The senior players have been able to step up, and play consistently, and they have ultimately dragged the younger ones through. That’s not the fault of the younger players because I understand they are still learning their game.
“I keep reminding everyone that every day is vitally important and it’s vital they give us their all. They have to eat and rest properly, and they have to prepare as well as they can for every session and every game. They need to grasp that as quickly as they can if they want to bring genuine success for themselves and for the club.
“We’re not always going to play well, that’s football, but we do have be more consistent so that we can really move things on. If we have four, five or six players not performing every week then we’re not going to win games and we won’t accept that.”
“Like I say, this is a game where we can show our own fans and the people who tune in to watch it that we like to play good football at good intensity levels,” he concluded. “Fleetwood will be thinking the same things so it should be a very good game.”
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