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MANAGER: We need to carry it on

29 January 2014

Graham Kavanagh on the MK Dons game

Manager Graham Kavanagh gave us his reaction to the 3-0 home victory over MK Dons.

“I thought our attacking play was really good on the night,” he said. “They set up in a very similar way to how we saw them do things at their place and they are a team who like to pass the ball to death. 

“We were happy to let them do that in front of us but you have to play with intelligence if you take that approach. I thought we showed lots of that in this one.”

“It’s great to be stood on the sidelines and to feel as proud of the team as I did at full time,” he admitted. “That’s one under our belts for getting to the points total we need as quickly as we can, and I think it was really rewarding for everyone. 

“We very much warranted the win and I thought we were excellent. We had some great individual performances but the team performance was the key. We put our chances away and created a lot more than they did.”
“I think you do question yourself after a defeat,” he agreed. “I think we all do that. I know the way I want to play and I know the style of play I want to see to help us do that. 

“It does frustrate you when they can’t give performances like this one every week but that’s the reason why we are in the league we’re in. I’m very quickly learning that but it won’t stop me from constantly putting more demands on them.
“The foundations are there for all the players. We did some fitness testing last Tuesday and the results were ridiculously good. They were off the scale across the board and I told the players afterwards that it has to be a huge asset for us. 

“It means we can overrun teams and we can do it for as long as we need to. Things like that help to give the players belief so we are looking a lot of areas to try to bring something extra that will make us better as individuals and as a group.”

“I think Lee Miller’s goal was very important,” he said. “Every striker will tell you that goals are what matters. I had a real decision to make on whether to play Mickey Drennan, Lewis Guy or Lee Miller but I just felt that I wanted to give him another chance. Mickey is really chomping at the bit and I thought he was excellent when he came on. 

“It was a great team performance. Pascal Chimbonda was outstanding, as was Courtney [Meppen-Walter], so we come away feeling really pleased. When we’re talking about individuals I don’t think you can stress just how important David Amoo has been this season. He has been the difference because we would have been in the relegation zone without his goals. He’s been a real talisman for the team and I wish he would believe in himself as much as I believe in him. He’s a player who has incredible ability and unbelievable pace and I feel he could definitely play at the next level up.”

On Brad Potts and his first senior career goal, he said: “He actually did his best to miss it! Fair play to him because I had him in the office about seven or eight weeks ago and we had a chat about where he was going. He’s a player who has the tools and he is extremely big, powerful and quick.

“He can handle the ball and he just needs that little bit more belief. To be fair, he’s taken it on board and he’s got stronger and better as time has gone on. His confidence is growing and you just see it every day now in training. If he carries on this way it really does bode well for us all.”

“We need to carry it all on now,” he said. “We’ve set the lads a target and we know that we can’t keep pulling the group together to talk about what has or hasn’t gone wrong, because that loses its impact. The approach and application has been rewarded with a very good performance and that is exactly where we need to be for the remainder of the season.

“The problem we’ve had for a number of seasons now is the inconsistency. Trying to get that consistency is difficult, but we keep chipping away. It does become frustrating for the management team and you do wonder why you can’t get it every game. I think that’s just a case of where we are at the moment.”

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