Graham Kavanagh on the Saturday friendly
Manager Graham Kavanagh spoke to us ahead of the latest pre-season trip to Workington on Saturday.
“We’ll be taking the full squad along and we’re hoping to have one or two more fit,” he said. “It’s a case of managing everyone but it doesn’t matter who plays, we’re looking for hard work and for the mindset to be exactly right.
“It’s away from home against a non-league team so it won’t be easy. Games like this help you to start to think about your team selection because you do start to see the players who are prepared to do the hard work.
"Workington always give us a good game and it's one for us to look forward to. We're coming into the final two weeks of pre-season now so there are things we want to see and do from here on in."
“I think we’ve got to be challenging with the group we have,” he added. “The players believe in what we’re doing and we’re still hoping to add one or two more to the group over the coming weeks.
“We’ve had a bit of a change around and I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve been able to get a lot of my targets in. To a man they have come into the building and added a real energy to the place. It doesn’t feel like a relegated side at all because there’s a good amount of positivity around.
“There have been one or two incidents in training which have really made me believe in this group. I had a chat with the lads yesterday, shortly after one of those, and there seems like a real team spirit and camaraderie. They work well together and they are all very committed.
“If we can add composure to our game, and we have an awful lot of players here with talent and technique, then I think we’ll see a right good go at it. It’s important they have that fire in their belly but ice in their brain whether it’s a pass, a goal line clearance, a one on one defending tackle or the chance to score a goal. We need to develop that focus in every area of the pitch and demand improvements of ourselves and others every single day.”
Looking at the formations used in pre-season so far, he said: “I’m not settled in a sense that I know my team for the Luton game yet but I have a fair idea of what my best shape will be.
“I need to have a shape that can adapt, be compact and mobile yet still be aggressive in its approach. We haven’t done too much work tactically as of yet but we will be putting that in place going forward from here. We’ve got options within the group and people who can help us change our style or formation during a game.
“I am going to change the system over the next few weeks but I do have it in mind for what I think will suit these players best. We’re sort of playing with a 3-4-1-2 and I’m telling the three defenders they are there to defend. I don’t want them to feel babysat by the midfield because we want everyone to be working hard to get us going forward.
“That means everyone has to buy into it from the first whistle, and we’ve got a bit of competition in there at the moment because everyone is doing very well. That's something else which can only be good for us all.”