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Interviews

INTERVIEW: The players we brought in changed the environment

17 May 2016

First part of an interview with head of recruitment Lee Dykes

In the first of a three-part interview with Head of Recruitment Lee Dykes we reflected on the part he had played in what was an enjoyable season at Brunton Park.

“It’s been an excellent season in my opinion,” he said. “I say that when we take into consideration the two cup runs, and it was great to see Brunton Park as full as it was against Everton. 

“From a football perspective we enjoyed taking Liverpool to 120 minutes, in a tight game, and then we took it to penalty kicks at level pegging. Anything can happen when you get to that stage so it was a special night.”

“Finishing in the top ten in the division is more than steady progress,” he continued. “In all honesty that’s about where we wanted to be to give us something to build off and kick on from this summer. 

“There’s a sense of pride in being involved with it all. You do ask yourself how big a part you’ve played in it and, from a personal perspective, hopefully I’m right in saying it was a big one.

“The players we brought in have changed the environment character wise. There’s no two ways about that. I think that’s a big part of the reason as to why we finished in the top ten.”

Speaking about the recruitment strategy which sparked that change of mindset, he said: “It’s best to explain it by saying the strategy we had last summer was different to what it is this summer. 

“Last year we knew we needed to bring good people into the building. Now we have good people in the building we’re looking at the extras we need to help us to get promoted. 

“I know the fans will look at the fact we came so close this season, without really getting there, and what I would say to that is that we had to get ourselves into the position of being where we are now first of all. 

“As far as I’m concerned it’s a sign of our improvement that we’ve just missed out, rather than have had to go through another season of looking over our shoulders and worrying about relegation. As I say, the people we’ve brought in have helped us to achieve that.”

On points and opportunities missed, he said: “It’s funny because I’d been saying for a number of weeks that we were going to thump somebody by four or five goals and we went and did it on the last day.

“You obviously wonder about where we could have been had we done it a few weeks earlier, or on other occasions. It’s natural to think like that but, in all honesty, let’s not run before we can walk. 

“Yes there’s Accrington Stanley and what they’ve achieved – excellent – and I know people will talk about the fact they’ve had a very good season, and good luck to them. It doesn’t change that I’m really happy with what we’ve done because it gives us a strong foundation to bring some really good players through the door for us to go on and do the same.”

Click HERE for part two of this interview.

Click HERE for part three of this interview (available from 9am on Friday 20 May).

United PlayerHD subscribers can see an interview with Lee Dykes now. Click HERE to go to the PlayerHD platform. Follow the same link for more information on United PlayerHD, and to subscribe.

Click HERE to see a clip from this interview on our YouTube channel. Follow the same link for more FREE content right from the heart of the club.

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