Graham Kavanagh on changing the way things work
United manager Graham Kavanagh spoke today about what he wants from his players when the squad gets together for pre-season in July.
“When you finish the season as we did, particularly with the relegation, you have to bear in mind that there can be a bit of a hangover for the lads who are still with us,” he said.
“We will all have had six to eight weeks to digest it and I think one or two of the players also need that time to recover mentally. It will be interesting to see how the lads come back physically, after their break, and I remember a couple of years ago Mark Gillespie went away and grew three or four inches. He came back a man rather than a boy so we’ll be hoping for more of the same from one or two of them.”
“They’ve all been given a programme, with targets they need to hit, and we’ll be doing things differently around the club next season,” he explained. “We’re looking for a strength and conditioning coach and we’re going to change the way we work in terms of training and player preparation. I want a new mindset from the players where they aren’t worrying about what happened last season, but they’re very much focused on what they’re going to achieve this season.”
And on bringing new players in, he said: “I feel a real obligation to the club and the fans to get the best personnel possible in the building.
“When they come in they need to know which end of the table we’re looking to challenge and what is expected of them. They need to be able to handle the pressure and I think that’s something they should really cherish as a footballer. There are millions of jobs they could be doing but they’re in a very privileged position, which they should be aware of.
“I’m also very aware of what the fans expect from us, and how they expect us to play and perform. I’m hoping this season they see that we can get a good nucleus of the group together then add a bit of flair and pace along the way. Hopefully that will bode for a good year for us all.”
“I’ve told everyone that there has to be a mindset amongst the group that we are going to be successful,” he told us. “We are going to put demands on each and every player so we need people who will buy into that.
“We're looking at this season as a fresh start and a fresh challenge. We released a lot of players so it's a clean slate for everybody. There's been a lot said in the last couple of years about the fans dwindling but I think we need to do everything we can to put that to bed.
“We need to give the fans and the club a new belief and a new energy. We hope to start that as soon as we get back for pre-season and carry it on into the games that follow to get people believing in us again.
“The only way we can do that is with results and performances. The fans will hopefully buy into that when they see the brand of football we're going to play and we can all push on together from there.”