Boss happy with how our team is shaping up as new season draws closer.
Manager Adam Murray is encouraged at how our players are applying themselves, following today’s 1-1 draw with established Premier League outfit Leicester City.
David Nugent’s neat finish put the Foxes ahead in the early exchanges, but Matt Green netted from the spot – the first penalty that our team have been awarded since the pre-season victory over Notts County last year – to earn us a well-deserved draw.
“It was always going to be a tough test for us, but we went into it with certain objectives,” said Murray. “We knew at the start of the week these two games [against MK Dons and Leicester City] was always going to be about our defensive structure and our organisation and discipline.
“I think when their goal was scored, it should have been a foul. For 60 minutes we’ve probably more than competed with them and we showed what a good team we can be. When you make [the amount of] changes, it does become a little bit disjointed, but the boys that went on showed how good they can be and it was a good workout.”
Nevertheless, despite today’s encouraging result, our boss insists there is a lot of hard work still to be done before our Sky Bet League Two season-opener against Carlisle United in a fortnight’s time.
He continued: “We’ve spent a lot of time on the training ground getting that organisation and discipline with the shape. Don’t get me wrong, we’re nowhere near where we need to be, but we’re on the right pathway.
“I’ve always said it’s about the process. Once you get the process right, the rest of it takes care of itself. We’ve got a lot of hard work still to do, but we’re happy with where we’re at.”
When discussing fans’ optimism about the upcoming season, Murray said: “Optimism is brilliant and nobody is more optimistic than the players and the staff, because we know what’s in the changing room.
“The balance between optimism and realism is something that we have to keep hold of. We all know what pre-season is like and we’re working hard to make sure that the performances we’ve been putting in over pre-season carry on from August 8th forward, because that’s where it really matters.”
Mitchell Rose, playing in a central-midfield position, was one of those to impress this afternoon and our boss spoke highly of the youngster.
“He’s got everything. He’s fit, strong and powerful and his attitude is spot on,” said Murray. “He’s got every ingredient that I look for and he’s a great person. He’s honest and he wants to win and he cares about playing football.
“When you’ve got that and you put them ingredients together, as long as you keep your work-rate and commitment to the cause at 100%, then it’s a good thing.”