Graham Kavanagh ahead of the MK Dons game
Manager Graham Kavanagh spoke to us about the Tuesday evening game against MK Dons.
“I watched MK Dons at Crewe last Tuesday and they are a very good footballing team,” he said. “They started the game very well and they looked like they were going to dominate before Crewe scored. They hit the bar and the post, and missed a penalty, and their heads dropped a bit after that.
“I’ve reminded the players that we’ve already played them and we managed to get a very positive result at their place. Crewe demonstrated that hard work can get something and hopefully we can replicate that tonight.”
“We have to be better individually than we were against Colchester,” he continued. “We have to be braver and we need to have more conviction in what we do in the opposition half and penalty area.
“There’s always pressure on the back four if you aren’t scoring goals and we have shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times recently. There are areas we can improve and we’ve talked about the fact we have to be better individually and as a team.
“The fans have been great with the way they have been behind us. There are bound to be one or two rumblings after the last two results and I completely understand that. We’re back at it for what will be a difficult game, but it’s one from which we are more than capable of getting a result.”
“The thing I keep reminding myself is that we aren’t in the bottom four,” he said. “We’re a point clear of it, with games in hand, and it’s up to us to make that situation better. As negative as I was after the Colchester game there was a realisation that we are where we are for a reason.
“There wasn’t going to be a magic formula when I first took over even though we did get a few fantastic results. I knew we were always going to plateau and that’s probably where we are right now.
“However, I’ve set the lads a target for the next 20 games. The lads have bought into that and they are saying the right things. That’s fine but it’s about going out there to deliver on it now.”
“I’ve also spoken about what we know this group is capable of,” he commented. “We’ve performed well at home even though the result last week wasn’t great. We’re in a relegation battle, we can’t avoid that, but we think we’ve got what we need to get out of it. We know we need wins on the board as soon as possible and that’s what we’re working towards.”
“If the fans can continue to get behind us then that is a fantastic feeling,” he added. “I understand the situation we’re in causes grumbles but we have to get on with it. We’ve generally played well at home but it’s about getting back to basics. We had a very good team shape about us when I first took over and that’s what we’ll be looking for again when we go over the white line tonight.”
“It has been a difficult period with injuries and other things but this is all part of the game,” he told us. “Max [Ehmer] going back isn’t ideal but we have to step up and cope with it. We have plenty going on as we try to finalise our squad and it can be frustrating when things don’t quite come together for you. We’ll keep doing our work and hopefully things will fall into place ready for us to push on with what is a huge period of the season.”