Manager Graham Kavanagh ahead of the Luton game
Manager Graham Kavanagh spoke to us ahead of the Luton game as his side looks to kick the season off in style.
“This season is all about challenging at the top end of the table,” he said. “We don't know what the group is capable of yet, we'll have a better idea of that once we're 12 to15 games in, but if we can keep the nucleus of the group fit then I believe we’ll be more than capable of going for it.
“I think Luton are going to be challenging at the right end of the table because they've got a really big budget which they've used well over the summer. They'll be full of belief and momentum following their promotion and they'll be bringing a decent following.
“Their fans will be expecting them to perform well but I think, with the new group we've got, we're more than capable of getting off to a good start.”
“John Still's teams will always get in and around you and they will be very organised,” he told us. “We'll battle for as long as we need to in the game and then we’ll try and impose ourselves and get the three points.
“Every game is important but we would all love to get off to a good start. I think we'll be expected to get results this season. I think that will happen if the new lads gel as quickly as we would like them to. If that doesn't happen straight away I don't think we need to panic, but I'm confident it will.”
“We had a meeting with the players on Tuesday about what the aims are for this season,” he revealed. “That will remain private, but the players have given me their thoughts as well. They were all very positive and I can say that we’re all heading in the same direction.
“I think this is going to be a very tough league this season. There’ll be points lost and gained at unexpected places across the division and we’ve got to find that level of consistency to help us to get the job done. I don’t think it will always be as pretty as we would like but I think that’s almost irrelevant. It’s about getting three points on the board in any way you can.”
“I think the way the group is working together is getting better all the time,” he said. “The level of performance in pre-season has been decent and the game against St Mirren was a good indicator as to where we are.
“They showed us areas where we needed to improve but we showed a lot of positivity in the way we played. I think we’ve brought players in who can play together at this level and who will contribute massively to what we want to achieve this season.
“My philosophy will never change. I want to pass the ball and I want the team to be energetic. I want us to look to be breaking lines and playing more in the opposition half than we do in ours. That comes down to having a positive mindset and a belief in how you approach the game.”
“I’ve said all along that what I didn’t really have last season was trust,” he commented. “This time round I trust the players and I trust what they are capable of doing. There’s a lot of experience and know-how and, off the back of that, I’d expect to see some good results.
“I said last season that I didn’t want us to get relegated and it was a horrible summer in that respect. I do feel that this is my team now and I also have the backroom staff I want. Having looked the players in the eyes they now know my passion and desire to want to make this club successful. They’ve given me the impression that they’re able to do the job and I know they’re desperate to get us the results we need.
“We’re a bigger group, with more depth to the squad, and I feel that we are more capable this season. If I had this group last season then I’d be pretty confident that we would still have League One status.”