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MANAGER: Maintain energy and focus

22 August 2014

United boss Graham Kavanagh ahead of the Southend United home game

United manager Graham Kavanagh spoke to us ahead of the Saturday home fixture against Southend United.

“I think it's vitally important that we maintain that energy and focus for Saturday's game,” he said. “Southend are a good side who know the league. They just missed out last year and they've brought in some experienced players. 

“They play a rigid 4-4-2 and Kevan Hurst will be coming back, and looking to prove a point, so I'm sure it'll be a good game. 

“Phil Brown is a very good manager at this level. They were unlucky not to go up last season but they've started well again this year. I spoke to James Beattie about their game against them yesterday and we've had a report from last week's game. We know what to expect, they're very organised and they'll look to get the ball into Myles Weston quickly. He causes problems because he likes to stretch the game. 

“We're at home so the onus is on us to come out and perform well. If we can get the same sort of performance that we did on Tuesday night then I'm sure we'll be able to get a positive result.” 

“We're obviously still disappointed that we had a good goal disallowed on Tuesday but there are a lot of positives to take from that game,” he commented. “The way we played meant that we were trying to get the ball out wide and get good deliveries in from the full backs. 

“We know that the two quickest players are Dave Symington and Brad Potts so we were asking Brad to make the ground up when Dave had the ball. I thought they both understood that really well.” 

“Billy [Paynter] did very well for the disallowed goal and I think it was him who laid the ball off in the first place,” he told us. “It was a great ball from Dave and, when Brad headed it, Billy was still behind the play. He finished it off and it would have been a great outcome, but we were robbed. It's disappointing but we have to move forward now.  

“I did speak to the officials briefly after the game and they said Billy was offside after the first contact, which I didn't think he was. I've since been proved correct so it is very disappointing. 

“There was a penalty incident in the game, which we could have had for hand ball, and we obviously had the same type of decision go against us last Saturday against Wycombe. We just aren’t getting the rub of the green at the moment. Hopefully we'll all be able to use the injustice of the other night to spur us on even more on Saturday. 

“I spoke to the head of referees, Dave Allison, on Wednesday because I think it’s only right that we highlight things if they do go wrong. There’s nothing that can be done about it when decisions are really poor I think they have to be followed up.”

“It would be good to get that first win on the board,” he concluded. “We all thought we were going to get it on Tuesday, but it wasn't to be. It would be good to be able to give something back to the fans because they were magnificent against Luton. We would very much like to give them a performance and a win to go away feeling happy with.”

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