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INTERVIEW: They practice it relentlessly

Gav Skelton on free kicks and quality goals

31 July 2021

The quality of the goals on Friday night was in plain sight as Zach Clough and Manny Mampala opened up a two-goal gap with just 10 minutes on the clock.

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Speaking about the opening goal – a precise Zach Clough free kick that dipped into the bottom corner – assistant head coach Gav Skelton said: “They practice it relentlessly after training, so it’s nice that Zach did that. He worked on it yesterday [Thursday] so that’s pleasing.

“We have other people who can take them as well, and when people up their level like that, others try to join it.

“These lads are good players, it doesn’t surprise you that they’re doing that. Zach, that can give us another asset hopefully, with set-pieces near the box. It gives us another opportunity when we get in those areas.

“We were strong from corners last year and hopefully we can be strong from central set-pieces this time. Zach has shown he’s a threat and we’ve got other people that can do it. It’s amazing how when people up a level, people follow.

“It’s great to see them going in on the training ground, and you want to start seeing them going in during first team games, and we want to see it in a competitive game.”

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All of the goals were good quality for different reasons,” he added. “We worked some really good opportunities from good play, and not just good play when we had possession.

“We pressed, forced mistakes, moved the ball well and got bodies in the box. There was a lot of pleasing stuff, and also some stuff as a reminder that there’s work to be done.

“We gave a couple of opportunities up before we scored, which we will look at, but it was another good game for us.”

“Obviously Manny got himself another one,” he commented. “He did really well. We’re seeing improvements in him since he’s joined us. I think he’s enjoying it and it shows.

“If you’re enjoying it and feel wanted, your energy levels and confidence goes up. I thought it was a really good goal. He showed some good bits of play, he’s improving on his hold-up play, his aerial threat and when the ball’s hit to him from different areas.

“He does work on it in training, he is conscientious, and he gives the manager a problem for selection.”

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