United’s assistant boss Tommy Wright was quick to praise Tuesday’s man-of-the-match Kelvin Etuhu for what he described as a ‘very energetic’ display during his post-match press briefing.
“Kelvin deservedly got man of the match because his energy is fantastic,” he said. “We want him to get better positionally, and whether you’re 36 or 16 you can always improve.
“The fans love him and he got a great reception. He gets around the pitch and he does the dirty work for the others, which you need in your team.
“He probably didn’t play as many games as he would have liked last season, and the medical department will be doing their best with all of the players to keep them on the pitch.
“Recovery is a massive thing, we’ve changed the food, the drinks and the nutrition to make everything better for the players. We haven’t got a big squad and we’ve got a lot of games, so recovery is massive.”
On a second start for defender Anthony Gerrard, he commented: “You can tell he isn’t fit, but I thought he was a leader at the back, especially when we came under pressure.
“You could hear him talking and he won a lot of big headers. He’ll be vital to us, we need to get him fit, but the only way to do that is by him playing games. He’s like the tin man now, so we’ll have to put some oil in his joints and get him ready to go again.
“In terms of team selection, we did well on Saturday so I think the manager thought it would have been unfair to leave anybody out. We did think about one or two changes, which we’ll definitely think about again for the game on Saturday against Crewe.
“They had a heavy defeat, but they’re a talented team and they’ll be looking to bounce back. If anybody does come into the team they’ll be ready. We make sure the lads who aren’t playing work hard so when they get their chance out there they can give us a performance.
“It’s important that the players who aren’t playing every week must train hard so they’re ready to come in.”
Next up for the Blues is Saturday’s visit of Crewe Alexandra.
“It would be great for us if we can get another win on Saturday, but we won’t be resting on our laurels,” he insisted. “There might be a bit more expectation because of the win tonight, but we’ve got to deal with it. It’s better that we’re going out with expectation to win rather than an expectation that we’ll lose.
“Everybody should be positive and confident, we won’t take anything for granted because we know Crewe have got some decent players. It will be a difficult game, but it’s about us and how we play.
“If we play well for longer than we have done in previous games, we’ll be fine. I think we played well for maybe 55-60 minutes tonight, and we need to be getting that up to 75 minutes. It’s going in the right direction, but nobody will get carried away. We’ll keep the players focused and it would be lovely to get another three points on Saturday.”
His final word was for our very vocal fans.
“The fans have been terrific at home and away, and we’ve had some long journeys already,” he said. “We need to make this a fortress. We want teams to come here after a long trip with our fans right behind us, because if you’re going to have any success you have to have good home form.
“Teams will come knowing that they’ll be playing a good team with passionate fans who might give them some stick from the stands. I know that’s not a good thing to say, but that’s what we need, everybody in it together.”
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