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MANAGER: I thought they played very well

27 July 2014

Graham Kavanagh with post match thoughts on Workington

Manager Graham Kavanagh gave us his reaction to the Workington friendly held at Borough Park on Saturday afternoon.

“I thought they played very well and they gave us a really good work out,” he said. “I wasn’t particularly pleased with what we did in the first half, even though I know it was a hot day and a dry pitch. We didn’t move the ball quickly enough and we didn’t stretch the game enough.

“We didn’t seem to have any midfield players who were prepared to get beyond the play so we addressed that at half time. I thought we played better after that, so overall I’m really pleased.”

“I have to say that Workington had an all-round honesty in their work rate,” he continued. “It was a big game for them and they were always going to scrap and fight for every ball. 

“They kept things very compact and showed a real willingness to get across us and close us down. They caused us one or two problems so this should give them a good platform to work from. I was very impressed with how they played.”

“We enjoy coming here,” he confirmed. “It’s a local team I feel we have to look after because we’ve asked the same of Sunderland, Newcastle and Middlesbrough. If they want to extend a relationship whereby we can help them, and make our players better in the mean time, then it would work for everybody.”

On how the game went from a United point of view, he said: “I thought Josh Gillies and Danny Kearns were too similar in the way they performed in the first half. They both wanted to drop and get the ball too much but things changed a bit when Mark Beck had to go off. He had some blood coming out of his ear, so he’ll see a doctor, but he’s speaking and he seems to be fine at the moment. 

“Billy [Paynter] took his place and he automatically attracts two centre halves. That’s why I was keen to get the midfielders running beyond to try and stretch the game in our favour. It worked a lot better after the break. We started to switch the ball quickly, we used a bit of pace and the quality of the chances we created were much better.”

“I keep reminding the players that we’re going to face an awful lot of teams this season where it isn’t going to be pretty and we aren’t going to be on the best of pitches,” he added. “It’s going to be difficult and it’s going to be a fight. It’s those games where we have to match it and work hard. If they buy into the mindset, which they’re trying to do, then I’ll be confident that we’ll handle it.”

And with the big kick off now just two weeks away, he said: “If we start it with the group we have now I’ll be happy, but I’m definitely hoping to have one more body in the building. 

“I’ve made an offer to a centre forward and I’m waiting to see what the response is. It could be that more negotiation is needed but I’ll have a clearer understanding of what he is thinking on Monday. We’ll just have to wait and see.

“I’ve been looking for a while now and I’ve had quite a few players offered to me. I want to try and get the right one in and, if this one does come in, I’ll be extremely pleased.”

United Player subscribers can see a video interview 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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