United boss John Sheridan gave us his reaction to the home friendly win against Bradford shortly after full time on Saturday afternoon.
“I was pleased with that performance,” he said. “We were up against a side of better quality, which was good, because there haven’t been too many games where we’ve been tested through this pre-season.
“Bradford are a good footballing side with good players and I thought we dealt with them well. We kept our shape and discipline, and there was a good work ethic when we had to do things as a team. That’s what it’s all about.
“All of the players will know what their job description is, and what they have to do for the team, and if they put it into practice we’ll be a hard side to deal with. We showed in the game that we’re capable of that because I don’t think Bradford created anything against us. That’s why it’s pleasing that we won it.”
“I think we deserved to win the game,” he added. “I know it’s only a friendly, but it’s about getting into good habits. We created the better chances and they didn’t really cause us too many problems.
“That was down to the players doing what they’d been asked to do. They did the ugly things well and I thought we were lively. I would have liked to have seen us in and around their penalty area more, and being a bit cleverer around goal, but it was a good, solid performance.
“You get that from everyone working really hard. We’ve done a little bit on how I want us to play over the end of last week, and this week will be more of the same as we look towards Exeter.
“As I’ve said before, if people know what their job is you can do alright in this division. It just comes down to doing the basics and knowing what your role is. Bradford had some good spells of possession, but it’s the concentration levels from us which kept them at bay. Full credit to the players for that.”
“There are still things we need to do a lot better, but we’ll work on that,” he confirmed. “We haven’t done too much on shape because I wanted to see how the players would stand up to this test.
“I would have liked a few more games to test us during pre-season, being honest. I think it’s important when you make mistakes you get punished. You don’t get punished against lesser teams, but we were solid against Bradford and we didn’t make many mistakes.
“We worked hard to keep a clean sheet which I was pleased about. We’ve got Yates and Hope working their socks off for us defensively which really helps. I was pleased with the way we looked but it will be totally different next week.
“It’s a good way to end pre-season but the most important game is Exeter. That’s when it matters. It’s a lift for us to see that we can play like that and keep a clean sheet against a team from a higher league.”
And on his first outing as team manager in the Brunton Park technical area, he said: “I’m sure you could hear me barking instructions from the sidelines, but that’s because of where we’re at.
If you have one or two who are going to go to sleep and switch off, it’s going to cause you problems, so that’s why you need to keep them on their toes.
“I won’t change because if I’m shouting instructions it’s all for the benefit of the team and because I want us to do well. We looked lively when we won the ball so there were some good signs.
“We know we’re still short of players. We’re not far off from adding a player or two. I don’t want to say too much, but we are short on bodies. Touch wood, if we keep everyone fit then we have a decent 13 or 14 players, but I would like to add to that.
“I’ve only got 13 or 14 senior pros to pick from, so I don’t think I’m too far away from knowing my starting 11 for the Exeter game. I don’t include the young players, I know young Jack [Egan] came on at the weekend, but they’re still not ready for the first team.
“If I can keep everyone fit I’d like two or three more just to make us more solid and get more competition. I’ll be trying to do it as soon as I can, but we’ll also take as long as it needs. We do know that if I was to pick seven subs from the squad today I still think we’re a bit short.”
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