Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Club News

MANAGER: Pleased with every aspect

27 November 2013

Graham Kavanagh on the Crewe victory

Manager Graham Kavanagh spoke to us following the victory over Crewe shortly after full time on Tuesday evening. 

"I was really pleased with every aspect of the game," he said. "The tempo we set in the first half was very good and we passed the ball into effective areas well. We scored two good goals, we had to be patient to get them, but the fans stayed with us which was magnificent."

"We knew the second half would be different because they were playing with the wind," he continued. "We knew they'd come out and attack us, because their manager wasn't happy, but we still managed to create chances. I think we created more chances tonight than we have done all season but we just didn't manage to put them away. 

"I told the lads at half time that 2-0 is always a tricky scoreline because if you concede early in the second half you always seem to get deeper and deeper and invite the pressure. We had the lion's share of possession and territory, and we created a lot more than they did, so I'm pleased overall and I definitely would have taken that result before the game."

On wide man Dave Symington's performance, he said: "We've been working with Dave for months on running at his man and getting his crosses in. He's a very determined character and he looks like he's actually thinking about the game now, which is important. 

"There's obviously still things he needs to learn, he's still very young, and I thought he could have been more convincing in his link up play with Pascal [Chimbonda] tonight. All of those things will come with experience. That being said, there was a lot of quality from him tonight and the technique he showed for the first goal was first class. 

"He does posses unbelievable amounts of power, and he can do it with both feet. The problem I have with him at times is that when he thinks about putting a lot of power on the ball he can lose his technique and the ball ends up going high and wide. When he gets his hip over the ball and plants his standing foot he's got the most powerful shot I've ever seen." 

"I don't like to single players out but I thought the spine of our team was outstanding tonight," he told us. "Ben Amos, Sean O'Hanlon and Max Ehmer were very strong at the back. The three midfielders dominated and Lee Miller won every header and gave us a real platform to get up the pitch. 

"It was also fantastic to see Chris Chantler get 90 minutes. He's had a very difficult period but he's showed a lot of determination. I thought he looked a little bit rusty in the game at Gillingham but, comparing his training sessions back then, he looks a lot more confident in his ankle. He's stopped thinking about it and it's stopped affecting him. 

"He's got a good opportunity to get some games now because Conor [Townsend] has to go back to Hull. The good thing for us is that Chris looked like he felt like he should be in the team tonight and that's exactly what we need from him."

And on some of his other selections, he said: "Leon McSweeney isn't carrying a knock but I felt that tactically Brad Potts would give us more options from the bench. He can cover us at right back and in the centre of midfield. I have to look at the different scenarios which could happen during the game when selecting the substitutes so there will always be one or two who miss out. 

"I left Chants off the bench on Saturday because I knew that Matt Robson could come in and cover at left back. I had Josh [Gillies] there who could come on and cover the left side. It's all about getting the best from the bench that we can. We want to have the best options that we have available to us and that's no reflection on Leon." 

"We're unbeaten in five games now which is the best run since I took over," he commented. "We still need that consistency but I do think we're slowly getting there. I don't think it's any coincidence that the two centre backs are playing well and Lee Miller has got the bit between his teeth. 

"Paul Thirlwell has had a problem with his Achilles for three or four games and his calf tightened up a little bit tonight. I've been expecting this to come at some stage but we've got cover in there with Prince Buaben. I thought he looked a little bit rusty tonight, because the pace of the game was very quick in the second half, but his run out will have done him the world of good. Bringing Paul off was more of a precaution than anything and hopefully we'll have prevented anything that will stop him from playing on Saturday."

And with the transfer window due to close at 5pm on Thursday, he said: "We've had interest in one of our players. I'll speak to him today [Wednesday] and see what his thoughts are. I think we've got a few who would really benefit from going out and playing some games and I'll definitely be encouraging them to do that. 

"I've spoken to Max [Ehmer], because his loan is up at the end of this week, and he is one we'd like to extend if we can. He's been fantastic for us and hopefully it's something we'll be able to do."

United Player subscribers can see a video interview with Graham Kavanagh now. Click HERE to go to the Player platform. Follow the same link for more information on United Player, and to subscribe.

Click HERE to see a clip from this interview on our YouTube channel. Follow the same link for more FREE content right from the heart of the club.

Advertisement block