The manager with reaction to the Penrith friendly
Manager Graham Kavanagh gave us his reaction to the friendly win over Penrith on Tuesday evening.
“I’m really pleased with what the lads did in this game,” he said. “It was nice to be able to play two different styles in the first and second half and to get good performances from both of them.
“It’s obviously beneficial for everyone in terms of fitness and we always get really well looked after down here. It’s a pleasure to come and we’d like to thank the staff and players for what has been another very worthwhile and enjoyable night.”
“We found it really difficult when we came down here last season but we were really aggressive in our approach early in the game and that’s exactly what I want to see,” he added. “It’s pleasing to see the confidence we had with the ball and the number of chances we created, so there are lots of positives for us to take.
“Penrith played a very good, honest game in the first half and they worked really hard. You have to be clinical in games like this and I thought we got that. What we have to remember is that it isn’t about winning it’s more about what you get out of the game. We’re simmering nicely at the moment and the players are feeling good about themselves.”
And on new signing Alex Marrow, he said: “We’ve had Alex in the building for about 14 days now and it’s been on and off for one reason or another.
“We had to wait for Blackburn to tie things up at their end but his agent has been fantastic. He kept me up to date with what was happening all the way through. You do worry, with the quality of player he is, that other clubs will step in when you haven’t got the deal finalised.
“I think we did well because we managed to get him up here and he’s been able to see the way we work and the styles we want to try and play. He felt wanted by us and when you have that as a player it goes a long way to helping you make a decision. I think he’s one who will grow stronger and fitter and he’ll be a big asset for us.
“I keep talking about the spine of the team and we now have Antony Sweeney who can play as a runner and help us to get goals. Gary Dicker can get us playing football and Alex Marrow is more in the Tom Taiwo mould in that he’s tenacious and aggressive.
“He’ll cover the box-to-box area and probably only chip in with the occasional goal. What he does do is set the tone and he puts demands on himself and on others. He enjoys the horrible side of the game and he adds something different to the mix.”
Meanwhile he confirmed that Dicker, who agreed a two-year deal ahead of pre-season, will be missing for two weeks having a picked up a thigh injury in a behind closed doors friendly last week.
“Gary played against Southampton on Friday and he felt a pull when he decelerated during that game,” he explained. “He had a scan and he has a slight tear in his quad muscle. I think he’ll be out for about two weeks.
“It’s only the second week of pre-season, so he’ll be fine, and the importance of having the type of squad we now have comes into play because we know we’ve got the variety and quality to fill the gap. He’ll be a key player for us this season but the good thing is that every player knows they have to do everything they can to get a place in the team.”
With eight signings completed he also confirmed that the door is still open as he looks to add more to an already exciting squad.
“I think we need to look in the centre forward area now,” he told us. “If the season was to start tomorrow then I would be able to tell you that I’m happy with the group I’ve got.
“However, I want to get two or three more through the door depending on the money I have available. If we can manage to do that then I’ll be really pleased.
“It’s been a tremendous close season for us so far and I think people can see the lads look a good size physically. I’m hoping this is a squad which can challenge in the right areas of League Two this season.”