United boss Steven Pressley spoke to the media at his pre-Crawley press conference on Tuesday afternoon about the ongoing preparations for the first game, and for the season ahead.
“We’re obviously excited, and it’s been a really good five weeks of work from the players,” he said. “We’ve added a couple of players to the squad this week and we’re still working hard on more.
“That gives everybody a lift, and I think the players should be feeling good because they’ve all acquitted themselves really well over the course of the pre-season. They all seem to be in really good physical condition and that bodes well for what will hopefully be a very good start to the season.”
“With the group that’s done the vast majority of the pre-season work I have to say that I am really pleased with where they are physically,” he added. “Several players who have joined us later are a little bit behind, but that’s something we can deal with.
“We did some testing today [Tuesday] which confirmed that, so in the weeks and months ahead we need to get them up to the same levels, because we’re looking to play our game in a certain manner.”
“In terms of numbers, I’m still not absolutely satisfied just now,” he confirmed. “We know we’d like more in, but I’ve said this all along that we’re a club that is running within its means.
“That in itself means we need to do things differently, and that’s the reality of it. There’s nothing to hide from here, this is just the way it is. That’s why we sometimes can’t get the players we want through the door early and we need to show a little bit of patience.
“As we add more faces we will need a bit of time for them to bed in properly, even though I’m never one to look for excuses. Again, that’s just the reality of the situation we’re in.
“Today, for example, would have been a certain type of session, but we had to change our working week because we’re bringing in new personnel who need to completely understand the way we do things. They need to get to grips with how we work in the 11 against 11 environment.
“That kind of thing would normally be left until later in the week, but we’re having to adapt because we need to get the new lads used to the way we play.”
Speaking more about the arrival of forward Olufela Olomola, he commented: “He’s a really interesting player. One of the things we’ve looked at a lot during our recruitment is finding players who are young and hungry, and who have good periods in their career.
“These types of players have also had indifferent periods, and that in itself allows us to be able to bring them here. If they’re always having good periods then the likelihood is that they won’t be coming to League Two in England, so we have to work hard to find the right people.
“Fela has shown that if he’s in the right environment at this level he can score goals. He did that with Yeovil and we’re looking for him to do that again with us here.
“He’s a really good finisher off both feet, he’s strong and he can link the play, which is something we need. We also need him to be pressing the game, which is something he enjoys, and that’s another really important factor in why he’s here.”
“He’s one of the three strikers I mentioned that I wanted to bring in, and it’s a good start for us in that area,” he said. “We’d have loved it to have been a guaranteed year-long loan, but most clubs want to insert that type of clause.
“What it means is that we can’t stand still when we look ahead to recruiting in January. We’ll need to be continuously monitoring other options between now and then just in case he performs to a level whereby they say they want him back.
“If that becomes the case, what it will mean is that he’s helped us to get into a good position, and we’ll have had the benefit of his good work. That’s when we’ll have to avoid the situation we faced last season where we were left with virtually no strikers as we got to the end of the window.”
And on defender Aaron Hayden, he told us: “We think he’s a player who has his best years in front of him.
“He’s had an indifferent period recently where he’s been playing non-league, but he’s shown a real willingness in the period of time he’s been here to prove himself and to take his opportunity.
“He’s one who provides us with good cover and stability in the areas I’ve spoken about and we think he has a bright future, hence the inclusion of a club option in his deal.”