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MANAGER: It was good for fitness levels, which is what it's about at this stage

John Sheridan with reaction to the Workington friendly

25 July 2018

United boss John Sheridan gave us his reaction to the away friendly victory at Workington shortly after full time on Tuesday night.

“It was another good test on what was a tricky pitch, which isn’t ideal,” he said. “But it was good for the fitness levels and that’s what it’s all about at this stage.

“It’s always nice to get a few goals and I think we controlled the game well. If pre-season had been different we would have had a stronger test today, with absolutely no disrespect intended to Workington, but with the situation we’re just appreciative of being able to get a game.

“A thank you goes to Workington for looking after us and, like I say, they gave us a good work out. Hopefully everyone will come through it without any bangs or niggles. We’ll train in the morning [Wednesday] and we’ll see how everybody is.”

Goals from Jamie Devitt, Jerry Yates and Richie Bennett gave the Blues a three-goal cushion before Kieran Maguire bagged a late consolation for the hosts on another hot summer night in Cumbria.

“The build ups for the goals were pleasing, they were three good finishes,” the manager commented. “There were some good performances, but it’s not too harsh to say that we were playing against a team where you would expect us to dominate the game.

“Everyone knows I don’t like conceding goals. If you’re making the same mistakes against better opposition they will hurt you, so that’s something we have to get out of our system. The silly things we do and the mistakes we’ve made don’t get punished as much until you come up against teams like that, so it’s been a little bit false so far.

“I feel as though we’re getting stronger and fitter and everything we’re doing is about that first game against Exeter.”

Speaking about another appearance for new arrivals Regan Slater and Jerry Yates, he said: “It’s still early days for the new players. Jerry got his goal and I’m pleased for the lad for that. You can see his enthusiasm and he’s going to be unsettling defences in the way he plays. He’s on his toes and he’s lively and I don’t think he’ll give the opposition a minute’s rest.

“Regan constantly wanted the ball and you can see there’s a bit of confidence in there. Both of them have work to do and they’re still getting used to things at the moment. We’ll be working on shape and how we’re going to play from here on and that will help everybody to settle in to the way we want things to work.”

And the manager also confirmed that trialist Lewis Walters had moved on from the club.

“He worked hard while he was here but he’s not what we’re looking for at this moment in time,” he told us. “Hopefully he’ll find somewhere and good luck to the kid.

“I am still looking for new signings. I’m still working hard and there are one or two positions I’ve identified where I think we need to strengthen. Everyone knows I keep talking about a central defender and, if I could, I’d like to possibly add someone out wide with pace. I know the circumstances so I’m just going to have to keep pushing at it to get someone in.”

“There are always rumours at this time of year but I don’t know anything about any links with Anthony Gerrard. I do know he’s a good player, but I haven’t heard anything and I haven’t been in touch with him, so there’s nothing much really to say on that matter.

“I think I’m getting linked with him because I’ve managed him and he’s played under me. It’s just a rumour at the moment, but he’s a good player and if he was available I’d be interested, but it is just a rumour.”

Also missing from the team sheet on the night were Hallam Hope and Jordan Holt.

“That’s just the way it will be sometimes,” the manager explained. “I didn’t play Hallam because I know what he’s about and I was looking at other things on the night.

“With all players, I’ll use them as I deem necessary. Our young players, Jordan Holt included, know they have a chance because I think it’s important for them to have an opportunity to be involved around the first team.

“Every player at this club should know he has an opportunity to play in my team, but that’s if he’s good enough and he’s doing the right things. However old or young they are I want to see them all pushing to get a place in the starting line-up.

“If it comes to a point where we think they need to go out on loan, we’ll do that. My boy is on the same situation, he’s at an age where he needs to be out to get the game time he needs. We’ll take that as it comes but the important thing is that all of these lads know there first chance is here with me, if they do things properly.”

His final word was for Anthony Wright, who brought a close to a Workington career which saw him play 561 games over a 13-year spell for the Borough Park outfit.

“The lad got his testimonial and it’s well deserved,” he said. “I’m pleased it was a good turnout for the lad.

“You won’t get it often where somebody has played that many games at just one club. Testimonials will be for 100 games at one club in the future, because players just don’t settle the way they used to any more. To make it to over 500 games is a great achievement for him.”

Click HERE to watch an interview with John Sheridan on iFollow United now.

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