United boss Steven Pressley spoke to us today about the excitement that continues to build around this weekend’s game as the attendance figure heads towards 7,500 with still over a day of ticket sales to go ahead of kick off.
“I think when there’s a big crowd at a game you can feel the electricity as soon as you arrive at the ground,” he said. “There’s more people around, and you can feel the intensity building.
“There’s no doubt when you run out into a stadium that’s fuller it gives you a greater experience and a greater enjoyment. Everyone wants to play in full stadiums, it changes the complexity of the situation, and it brings an intensity to the game.”
“A big crowd is seen to be an advantage for the home team and we’ll be looking to put on a performance with intensity and energy so we can build momentum,” he added. “If we can do that the crowd will get right behind us and that will be a big help.
“As an away team, you always come in and look to silence the crowd and make them edgy, so it is a double-edged sword. If we can build that energy within the crowd it will play a massive part in us winning games of football.”
“There’s a real excitement about the game from everyone,” he continued. “As a coach it will make it more difficult to get instructions over to the players on the far side of the pitch, but everyone wants to manage in big games with good atmospheres.
“It’s a great prospect, to be playing in front of a terrific home crowd, and I really hope we can give them the type of football, performance and result that we all desperately want.
“The efforts of everybody for the #8kforMK campaign have been fantastic, and that’s why come the end of the season when you achieve promotion it’s due to more than just the players.
“It’s everybody within the club putting in the effort to get the team over the line. We all have our part to play, some people’s parts are highlighted more than others, but everybody has their part to play.
“I think the media team have done a remarkable job in getting the players to do some of the things they’ve asked them to do. They must have something on them! It’s been great, and I know we’re already near to the target.
“I actually got involved in something similar when I was in Cyprus and it made me realise acting is not my forte, so I’ve left it to the lads this time!”
Meanwhile, following the decision not to appeal the red card shown to Jamie Devitt on Tuesday night, he said: “Losing Jamie for three games is a massive blow because he’s been our key player in creative areas.
“We didn’t make the initial appeal because the footage was a little bit inconclusive. For us to have made an appeal we needed to go with a conclusive argument. I’ve just seen the footage from the other angle for the first time, and from that I can see that Jamie did not kick him in the face.
“It looks to me, when you see his right foot coming, that he kicks into the stomach area of the player where the ball is actually at. When that footage is slowed down and maximised in size, it shows Jamie showed no intent. We can’t do anything with that now, we asked for the footage yesterday and received it late this morning, but that was too late.”
“Another thing that disappointed me about the whole situation was the reaction of their full back,” he continued. “I don’t condone any player kicking another in the face in any way, but he rolled about then, once the red card was shown, he stood up and started laughing.
“That’s not the type of behaviour I expect from a player towards a fellow professional. If he’s injured I have no problem, but don’t react in that type of way and show disrespect to another player.”
Having kept his thoughts to himself until today, he commented: “I didn’t want to say anything until I had a better picture of the whole episode. There were several things said in the aftermath that I wasn’t pleased with.
“I don’t expect another manager to call one of my players a coward. I also read comments that were passed on to me that we were supposedly a team committed to kicking another up in the air. I’m happy with some of that, because no team survives in this league without being aggressive in their game.
“I then went into their manager’s office for 15 minutes after the game and he couldn’t have been more complimentary about the football we’ve been playing. I have no problem with their manager making the comments towards us as a team, he’s entitled to make those comments about our commitment, but don’t then sit with me in an office and say the polar opposite. That doesn’t stand well with me.
“I’m happy for him to have his opinion, but to then speak to me like that in the office, don’t say something completely different and have double standards, that’s all I ask.
“I think some people have said it would be fun if we played Crewe in the play-offs, but I want us to go directly up. That’s our ambition and aspiration, and that’s what we’re focused on now.”