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MANAGER: I was looking for a reaction

20 August 2014

The manager with reaction to the Cheltenham Town game

Manager Graham Kavanagh gave us his thoughts on the away draw at Cheltenham on Tuesday night.

“We’re really pleased because it’s been a difficult start to the season for us,” he said. “We had a bit of concern at the weekend because Saturday was nowhere near good enough. I was looking for a reaction and I thought we did everything we could to win that game.

“I’d like to see the goal again because it looked perfectly legitimate to me. Brad Potts broke into the box, and Billy [Paynter] was behind him, so there’s no way it could have been offside. If it is then I’ll hold my hands up, but it didn’t look anywhere near it to me.”

“I thought the win was the least we deserved, but football can be cruel,” he continued. “However, we’ve set a bit of a benchmark and we actually looked like we know each others roles in the team.

“On another night we’d have won it but there are loads of positives for us to work with going forward from here. Their keeper has got man of the match and that’s down to the number of chances we created.

“He made a great save off Jack Marriott, and there were three or four other good openings for us along the way as well, and we’ve been secure and solid at the other end. I’ve just told the players to make sure we don’t have a season of ups and downs. I don’t want us to go from one game to the next where we don’t get a performance. If we can do what we’ve done tonight consistently then we’ll end up where we hope to be.”

“It’s important that we build on the work we’ve done in this game,” he added. “This is a start for us. We have one point from the three games, which isn’t ideal, and we’re four points behind where I expected to be. As I say, I was worried after Saturday’s game but I am now full of optimism again.”

And on loan signing Jack Marriott, he said: “He plays on the shoulder and he causes real problems for defenders. He’s very much like Stephen Elliott in that he closes people down quickly. His movement is fantastic and he can shoot off both feet, so he brings something different. We’re looking forward to working with him.”

“We’ve picked up a few injuries and that’s very frustrating,” he admitted. “David Amoo picked up a bruised ankle in the first game but he’s now very much on the mend. We’re hoping to have him fit for the weekend.

“Troy Archibald-Henville has had a stress related injury in his shin, from the hard ground we’ve been working on, and I think he’ll still be a couple of weeks yet. That’s disappointing because his red card ban is up, but we could still be without him.

“It looks like Matt Robson has torn his medial ligament and we’ll need to wait to hear how long he will be missing for. Courtney Meppen-Walter is another with a knee problem and we’ve been told he could require an operation. We’ll get confirmation on that this week and we’ll take it from there.

“We are down to the bare bones so we brought Matt Douglas along with us from the youth team. He’s a 16 year old kid and I was really pleased for him. He was incredibly excited but I think he has thoroughly deserved it from what I’ve seen.”

“That situation is what it is and I want to give our fans something to scream about at home now,” he said. “They deserve it because they’ve been magnificent. We had 6,700 at the first game of the season and they played their part in the way they got behind us against Luton, particularly in the second half. 

“If we show the same levels of input and energy that we managed to get tonight then we will definitely win games for them. Southend are a very good side but we now look like a team which is starting to come together the way we want. The message that it won’t be good enough for us to play well one week and be indifferent the next has been sent out. We have got to maintain a level that will keep the points coming. We’re coming to terms with the league and we’re now building to move forward. Hopefully that will continue to be the case.”

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