Graham Kavanagh ahead of the trip to Bristol City
Manager Graham Kavanagh spoke to us about the long trip to Bristol City at the weekend.
“It’s incredible to see their league position at the moment,” he said. “They have some real quality, there is no two ways about it, and they cause every team they play problems.
“Things haven’t gone their way this season for whatever reason but they’re a club you feel can put a run together and get some momentum going.”
“Jay Emmanuel-Thomas got a hat-trick against us up here and he is a big player for them,” he continued. “They have a number of good players, though, so all I can do is worry about us and what we do. If we can show the focus and commitment we had against MK Dons on Tuesday night then we’ll be hard to beat.
“Come Saturday it is about having that same energy before the game. It’s down to us to prepare the team over the next few days to hopefully give us a good performance.
“I think we’ve shown a number of times that it doesn’t matter who we play against. If we approach the game in the correct manner then we’re a match for any team.”
Speaking about some of the younger players in the group, he said: “It was good for the club to be able to give Kyle [Dempsey] his debut. He is somebody who has been on the radar for a while with me. He’s a kid with a man’s mindset in a man’s body and he is a very determined character.
“He’s one who puts himself under real pressure to be the best he can. I was pleased to give him the chance and it’s something he can build on. Hopefully he has a big future in the game.”
And on central defender Courtney Meppen-Walter, he added: “I pulled Courtney about three weeks ago to talk about performances and I am aware that I have been publically critical of him.
“I thought when he first came in that he showed a real appetite and hunger but he tailed off a bit after he got his contract. I told him the platform we’ve given him is for him to move forward and he has to look to push on to bigger and better things.
“He has the ability to achieve that. Again, it comes back to mindset. I asked him to lose some weight and to get himself in the gym and I left it at that. I warned him that I wasn’t going to ask him again because I wanted to see what his response was.
“To be fair to him, he’s been first class and I’ve seen a huge difference in him. I’m really pleased for him and I do have to remember that he is still only 19 years of age. I look at him and see a man, but he is also still only a kid. I do have to be patient with him but, as I keep saying, I am still going to keep putting responsibility on players, whatever their age, in the hope that they improve and become better for themselves and the club.”