Kevin Blackwell looks forward to the first game of a new season‘I’m 100% ready with what we have; we’ve done everything that we can under the circumstances. We are ready for the game. That building process that we have been talking about all summer has to be developed over time, but we are well on the way and I am really pleased with what we have got.
We are hoping to have two ore arrivals before Saturday that will hopefully give us more firepower out on the flanks. I’ve made a concerted effort to try and get goal scorers into the club. Goal scorer’s need ammunition and bullets, and that’s what I have tried to get in, get the ammunition coming in from wide to the strikers. It’s a toss of the coin on whether we get them in, the coin is spinning at the moment and we are just waiting for it to land.
At this point in time, the squad is as good as I could have expected. We’ve made 17 signings over the summer. This is a new set of parameters because they haven’t been here before. Now I will find out about these players as the season progresses. I need to know how they react on a cold night in Exeter or when somebodies form dips a little, how they respond to it. Unfortunately the only way to find out things like this is under the guise of the public.
I will be learning a lot about the players as we move on, as the fans are. I will find out one or two things that I didn’t expect and they will find the same with me. We really do need patience, but the attitude of the players that have come in here has been first class.
We’ve been fortunate in taking some of them on trial; some of them have had to work to earn the right to come here. Their work ethic has been right. Some of them have been told that they are not good enough and thrown on the scrap heap, but this is a chance for them to resurrect their career. Some are on the way up and this is a great platform for them. They all have a reason to be here and they all have a reason to do well.
In this day and age, everyone is on trial, in whatever job you do. Players now have to earn the right to be a footballer and to stay in the game. It’s ferocious with people trying to stay in the game. My phone has been busy over the last few days with names that are surprising, they haven’t got themselves a club. Players that have hung on and thought they were better than they were, or thought the contracts would be bigger than offered, are now left with nothing. We are a big lesson in that with what happened last season.
Tom Soares is a good example, he thought things would happen at other clubs – but didn’t. He was left with nowhere to go until he came here last September. You can name loads of players that are left high and dry at this stage of the season. We could have eleven debuts on Saturday; the PA announcer will be busy.
This is going to take time, patience will be needed. The amount of common sense I have heard from our own fans has been brilliant. They have told me that they don’t expect miracles, but what they are proud of is the fact that we have the club back. The biggest thing for many people is that the club is here to start the season.
Chesterfield are one of the favourites for the season. We actually play four of the top six favourite sides within the first few weeks. We know it’s going to be a tough start and we know that we will improve as time goes on. We have that belief, even if we had no players, I still think we can win every game. You have to go into the season believing you can win every game you play.’
Watch the full video interview with the manager on Shakers Player; we’ve also included a smaller version of the interview on our official YouTube page