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Interviews

Competition for places

23 August 2013

Kevin Blackwell looks back on another busy Gigg Lane week

Manager Kevin Blackwell reflects on a new mind-set around the club and welcomes the two newest addition to the squad as well as looking forward to Saturdays game at Burton Albion

‘The lads are very business-like in their manner and approach to each game, you win one and move on to the next.  It’s a part of rebuilding the club and getting things in place.  I want them to not rest on their laurels, I want them to go on and win the next game and so on.  It’s very much business like.

The beauty of the rebuilding the club is that we have been able to put in protocols and procedures, so that when people do come here – they think that this has always been the way to do it here.  We are trying to set standards high and to try and get the players to achieve those standards.  They don’t turn up late, the kit is always in the right place and it’s been quite enlightening for all of us.

We’ve brought Tommy Miller in because I felt that we needed a bit more experience in the middle of the park.  Euan Holden and Jordan Sinnott haven’t played many league games and that left us quite naked in the middle.  We knew that and against Crewe when I wanted to put a third midfielder player on – but I couldn’t and we put John Rooney on.  We wanted to fill that hole and Tommy comes with a good pedigree, he’s been around the place and had an exceptional season last year with Swindon.

Tommy knows a pass and can see a pass, but he’s also got a good goal scoring record as well.  I tried to sign Tommy when I was at Leeds United so it’s took me eight years to get him, but he does have a pedigree in front of goal.  We knew last season what our achilles heel was – scoring goals, and I don’t just want the goals to come from strikers – we have to share it around the club and I want the midfield to be weighing in with about 15 or 16 goals this year.  The centre halves need about five or six goals from set pieces over the season.

With William Edjenguélé, I’ve been looking for a left sided centre half for goodness knows how long and he has the attributes that we are looking for.  He has pace; he’s strong in the air and once again gives us that competition for places because we didn’t have anyone in the centre half position.

He played for most of last season and it’s a little bit of a surprise that he hasn’t continued in the Coventry side.  He’s desperate to play and I’ve told him that if he comes here, he will be playing so he has jumped at the opportunity.  He’s turned down one or two clubs to come here and I am delighted that he is here.

Now we move to Burton on Saturday and we said that the first six games would be tough.  They got to the play offs last season and have started this season very well again.  They have taken good results at Fleetwood and at Sheffield United.  They are off to a good start, but we are starting to evolve and develop.  People are starting to see that we could be quite a good outfit.

I was delighted with the clean sheet at the weekend, things are moving nicely and with Tommy & William coming in we have more competition for places.

Watch a clip of the manager’s video interview on YouTube (below) 
or watch the complete interview over on Shakers Player


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