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MANAGER: Ready to do our jobs

8 November 2013

Graham Kavanagh ahead of FA Cup weekend

Manager Graham Kavanagh spoke to us about the trip to Boreham Wood for this weekend's first round FA Cup meeting.

"We've looked after the lads this week because it's been a very busy period," he said. "We had the trip back from Gillingham, and the disappointment of that result, so we got the group together on Sunday to warm down and to start to prepare for what was another big game on Tuesday.

"The lads responded to what we'd asked them to do in that one and I thought it was a magnificent performance. I said after the game that I was extremely proud to be part of response like that and that still stands now."

"As we also said the other day, the challenge to the group is for them to produce that level of intensity, determination and intelligence in their play every time they go out there," he added. "We can't be a club that turns it on for certain games then slips back into bad habits. 

"If we stick by the demand that what we do today won't be good enough tomorrow then we should see constant improvement and we should see the players asking more and more of themselves."

"This weekend bring us a game where we can't and won't take anything for granted," he insisted. "Boreham Wood gave Brentford a real test last season and there is no doubt in my mind that they will be up for this. They'll want to use home advantage and they will do everything they can to stop us from playing our game.

"Their result last weekend against Chelmsford shows that they can turn it on and we have to be aware of that. Of course we go into it as favourites to win but that means nothing if you don't do things properly on the day. Ian [Allinson] has real knowledge of the game with his background and he will have his lads ready. They'll believe they can get something and it's one where I'm sure he'll tell them to go out and enjoy themselves. Any side that scores six goals in a game is doing something right so, like I say, we need to be ready to do our jobs for the full 90 minutes."

And the United boss admitted that he will be using one of his own nightmare experiences, and one of the club's, to highlight the dangers of not being on your game when FA Cup weekend comes knocking.

"I hate to be reminded about it but I lost against Nuneaton when I was at Stoke," he said. "We battered them, but they got the goal and we just couldn't get one back.

"It was then everything you would expect from a non-league side. They banged on the walls in the corridor and on our dressing room door to rub it in. It was one of the lowest points of my playing career and I have told our players that they don't want to go through that. 

"It was a terrible experience because you feel like you've let your club, your fans and everyone connected with you down. I definitely do not want to experience it as a manager so it's vital that we have the right mindset and that we prepare properly at every step of the way."

"I was talking to our physio Dolly about the FA Cup the other day and he told me about the game the club had at Ilkeston back in the 90's," he continued. "That was really good because we were able to get in touch with the local paper [Tony Harrison and Amanda Little at the News & Star] and they dug into their archives to get copies of the stories and headlines from that defeat.

"It's something we've been able to show the lads because the reaction is obviously very negative, and it's something you don't want to be part of or responsible for."

"It is a game we can look forward to," he said. "If we go there and perform the way we did on Tuesday night then we shouldn't have too many problems at all." 

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