The Emirates FA Cup third round meeting with Cardiff City brought with it the usual increased levels of media interest following United’s superb away performance on Saturday afternoon.
As head coach Chris Beech was bounced from one interview to another after full-time, the media team took the opportunity to speak to director of football David Holdsworth as he waited to congratulate the coaching staff and the team on their performance.
“First and foremost, we have to say thank you to the 719 away fans that came to support the lads,” he said. “To hear them create the atmosphere they did was amazing, but also to hear them chanting Chris Beech’s name shows that they are fully behind what he, his staff and his team are trying to do.
“We want more of that, and we think that the hard work that Chris is doing is going to bring more afternoons like this for us going forward.
“Today was a tough game against a very good Championship side, and in terms of tactics, strategy and individual and team performances on the pitch, we matched them stride for stride. We now bring Cardiff back to Brunton Park and, with us all knowing the outcome of Monday night’s draw, we hope it will bring our home fans out in force as we look to progress to the fourth round.
“The income that the FA Cup brings is always welcome, but we aren’t interested in the money, we just want to win games. Cardiff have been excellent hosts today, and we look forward to welcoming them to Brunton Park. As we all heard, the fans enjoyed what they saw today, and we hope they’ll come out in their numbers to support the team again for the replay.”
Speaking about the early work done in the transfer window after the arrival of midfielder Elliot Watt from Wolves, he said: “We identified targets before the window so we were able to move quickly. Myself and Chris have spoken a lot to Scott Sellars and the Wolves recruitment staff, and we have to thank them for their help in making sure it happened at the start of the window.
“We have been working since Chris came in to make sure we were ready to move as soon as the window opened, and I’ll continue to help Chris as we go through the month to support him. We have already enabled Chris to bring in an analyst which he thought was important, and I’ll continue to support the football department on behalf of the club.
“We are in talks with clubs about strikers, and we’ll continue to work as hard as we can in every department to enable Chris to take us up in the table.”
With recent rumours about United’s young defender Jarrad Branthwaite, he commented: “We will update fans if anything happens, but at this moment in time there is nothing to say. There have been no deals agreed, no arrangements made and if we do sell him, we won’t sell him cheaply. He’s a great kid who we see as a future England international, but we aren’t in a position where we need to sell him.”
“With just two defeats from the nine games under Chris, there are already signs that we are moving in the right direction,” he concluded. “Everybody is fully aware of the current position we are in, not least Chris and myself, and we are fully committed to turning this round as quickly as we possibly can.
“I will continue to support Chris in that, and I have been extremely impressed with the way he has gone about his business over the course of the last six weeks. He’s the type of coach who knows what he wants, and who understands the club and the way that it works. We’re looking forward to pushing on through January and beyond.”