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MANAGER: Looking for a catalyst

29 August 2014

Manager Graham Kavanagh ahead of the Cambridge United trip

Manager Graham Kavanagh spoke to us ahead of the trip to Cambridge on Saturday.

"I've learned very quickly with this league that every team is capable of beating each other," he said. "We've had a few unusual results up to this point and I think a few teams are still trying to find their feet.

"I think we'll really see where the league is after 12 to 15 games. Without being disrespectful to Morecambe I don't think anybody would have expected them to win their first four games, so we'll take each game as it comes and see where we are." 

"I was pleased with the work ethic the players showed at the weekend," he added. "We just need to gain that little bit of composure and hopefully get our first win. I think once we get that it will be a catalyst for a good run.

"I watched Cambridge quite a lot last season. I went to watch them at Halifax in the play offs and they try and play football. They've got Luke Chadwick, who was at MK Dons, so he's got very good pedigree and he knows the league.

"They work very hard for each other and they'll be very organised. They're obviously at home so the onus will be on them to come out and play, which might suit us."

"I'll continue to say it but it's not about the other team," he commented. "It's about the dynamic of our group and our approach to the game. The mindset of the players is important and I'm sensing from them that they are starting to grow and gel as a group.

"Up to this point I think one or two of the younger ones have found the confidence side of things difficult, because we haven't been getting the wins, but it's important that we keep putting an arm round them.

"As soon as we get that first win, however it comes, whether it's a scrappy victory or a flowing football performance, we'll hopefully build on it and gain some confidence. That's when we'll start to see the true identity of the team." 

And on how he wants his side to approach the game, he said: "We worked on two systems during pre-season and we wanted to have two up the top end of the pitch so we could be effective in and around their box.

"I think we've played well in patches, and we've been indifferent in other games, but we need to find a formula for this group to start producing wins.

"The mindset of the players in terms of them understanding and adapting to what is expected of them from each game is vitally important. The club has had a very difficult time in the last 15 or 16 months, when it comes to winning games, and I think it was been very difficult to change that. 

"I genuinely thought that bringing in so many players during the summer would have meant it wouldn't be an issue. We had the confidence during pre-season but we lost the first game, so that faltered. It would have been great if we could have beaten Cheltenham last week, but that's been and gone, so we have to look to the next one." 

"It's important we start winning as quickly as possible," he told us. "We don't want to be too far away from the pack and have huge ground to make up. We want to give the fans some encouragement and some belief that the players we've brought in are right for the club. 

"They showed us that in pre-season but, up to this point, we haven't been able to do it in the league even though some of our performances have been good. There's an old cliché which says the harder you work the luckier you get, so it's vitally important we all keep believing." 

United Player subscribers can see a series of video interviews 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.

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