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MANAGER: Something to build on

17 January 2014

Graham Kavanagh ahead of the weekend

Manager Graham Kavanagh spoke to us ahead of the weekend game against Colchester.

“As everyone knows, we’ve had a difficult week with injuries and that isn’t ideal for us at all,” he said. “However, we get on with it because we know that we’re a match for any team on our day. 

“Our focus is always on what we can do and how we can play, and we’re looking for another energetic performance at the weekend. The players who do play on Saturday will be positive and they'll know they're very capable of getting a result. We want a performance that's full of energy and togetherness and I think if we can do that then we'll get the performance we all want.”

“We had a team meeting on Monday and I think that was huge for us,” he continued. “Certain aspects of what we did at Orient annoyed me greatly and we were able to clear the air about a few things. 

“I told them I will always be honest with them because I want the best for them and for this football club. There has never been a club of any magnitude which has ever been successful without everyone pulling in the same direction. We talked about that and one or two spoke from the floor, which was brilliant. It was a very good meeting which I felt had a positive impact on how we approached the rest of this week.”

“Our home performances have been entertaining, which is pleasing,” he agreed. “Mind you, I’d take a scrappy 1-0 win at the moment. 

“Colchester had a very good win at the weekend so they’ll come here feeling confident. We had somebody at the game to watch them and we know they are a team who will work very hard. They play a 4-2-3-1 system and they try to create overloads in high areas. They have energy in the full back areas and they bring the game to you if they can. 

“I think Joe Dunne has done a very good job because he has changed their style and they now play a really open type of football. They want to get the ball down and our pitch may suit them. Last time they came here there was a possibility they would be relegated but we could see how driven and together they were. They’ve brought that forward into this season and we have to roll our sleeves up and do exactly the same.

“They’re ahead of us in the table so this is an important one. We want to stay tight with them and we want to get ourselves off on another run. Leyton Orient apart we’ve played well over the last six or seven games but we haven’t got anywhere near the points tally we would have liked. A win on Saturday would give us something to build on again.”

“I think we’ve suffered from inconsistency for about 18 months, possibly longer,” he added. “It’s a case where we have got to get our individual and collective mindsets into the right place. We’ve done an awful lot of work on the training pitch in terms of preparation and what’s expected and we know how we want the team to perform.

“We’re looking for new ways all the time to reenergise the players, physically and mentally, but I’m looking for a performance we can come away feeling proud of on Saturday. I think players always have to take responsibility for their own performances. We can prepare them tactically and give them knowledge of the opposition but the onus is on them to implement it all when they step across that white line. There’ll be games where they don’t play well but, even then, you can still affect the opposition by becoming hard to beat. 

“I want us to be an expansive team and I want us to play good football. We need to be in the opposition half and we want to be creating chances. If we aren’t getting that then I want us to be effective in terms of our industry, the tempo we play and our togetherness as a team. 

“We have to accept that this is a young group which lacks experience and we don’t have too many leaders in the dressing room. The younger lads are finding their way and it may be that I need to show more patience with that. 

“However, what we can’t allow is for too many opportunities to pass us by. We need results and if everyone understands the importance of it all then we are in with a good chance.”

 “I don’t think we’ll look any further than staying in the league at the moment,” he told us. “We have to start looking after ourselves and making sure we get as many wins as possible as quickly as we can. We want to get to the 50 point mark at the earliest opportunity and we’ll see where we are from there.  

 “We’ve generated some revenue with the cup run, and one or two other things, but I don’t think we’ll be able to go out and spend willy nilly. Every penny matters, as we’ve seen in the past, and we’ve had lots of cuts right across the board.

“The club is very conscious of the fact that it doesn’t want to get back into that situation, which I totally understand, but I still think we need one or two more players so that we can strengthen the group. We’re constantly out there and looking and we’re always talking to agents. All you can do is as much work as possible which will hopefully find you the players you need.”

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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