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Interviews

INTERVIEW: He's a very good, experienced player

22 June 2016

Lee Dykes on the signing of Mike Jones

Head of Recruitment Lee Dykes spoke to us about midfielder Mike Jones shortly after he had put pen-to-paper on a two-year deal today.

“Mike is someone we were interested in back in January," he said. "We thought he could add an impetus to the central areas of the pitch.

"Oldham wanted to retain him because they were looking to stay in League One, which they did, and Mike played his part in that.

"He's a very good, experienced player and he's someone I've worked with previously. We know what we're getting, he knows the game and he knows how to win matches.

"We're bringing a strong character in to be part of a strong squad. He'll need to fight for his place like everyone else, but he's prepared to do that." 

And on the fact that the new arrival will add more competition for places, he said: "All of the new signings will have to earn their shirt. We got towards the end of last season and a lot of players had played a lot of games and were out on their feet. 

"We obviously had the floods and a lot of travelling, but it's important we have a strong squad. The manager will quickly make a decision on what he thinks is his strongest starting 11, and it will then be up to other players to get themselves into that team." 

Speaking about getting signing number seven over the line, he said: "There have been some signings which we've tried to get over the line that didn't come off. The pleasing thing is that everybody we've got into the building has been part of the proactive recruitment.

"When you don't get the names you want you then have to go to second and third phase targets. All seven signings so far have been our first choice in those positions, so we're very pleased with that."

On the 2016/17 fixture list which was released earlier today, he told us: "Amazingly Simon Tracey called Portsmouth away as the first game yesterday! The first thing I noticed is that the majority of our furthest games will be played from March onwards. That might help us in terms of the lads' legs if we have cup runs and things like that.

"We're excited by it. We've looked at the start and end of the season, along with the Christmas period, but you have to play every team home and away. It's all about adopting a positive approach and getting off to a good start."

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