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Interviews

MICHAEL DUFF ON FOREST FIXTURE

17 July 2022

Speaking after our stalemate against Nottingham Forest on Saturday, Michael Duff praised his side's progress during this pre-season.

In his first game in charge at Oakwell, Duff's side held Premier League new boys Nottingham Forest to a 0-0 draw on a scorching Saturday afternoon in South Yorkshire.

The 44-year-old believes there were many positives to take from the game:

"It was a good run out," he began. "0-0 against a Premier League team, I don't think there was anything in the game. 

"We've had a week without the ball, in terms of out-of-possession structure. A few of the things we were working on came out. I think Brad Collins had to make one save in the game, so that was pleasing. There are loads of positives within it."

Match Reports

FOREST REPORT

16 July 2022

Saturday's result means that it's now just one goal conceded in pre-season so far; a penalty at Worksop Town. Having being a central defender during his playing days, the art of defending is a particular passion of Michael's.

"It's the bit of the game I'm obsessed with - defending." Duff admitted. "I was a defender. I like to think I can get a team organised.

"It gives you a chance. There has to be a framework, the best teams in the world have that. The players then have freedom to go and express themselves and show they're good players as well."

James Norwood became our sixth signing this summer so far, ahead of kick-off yesterday, and at 31-years-old represents a more experienced player amongst the youthful dressing room here at Oakwell.

Duff believes that the experience our latest recruit brings with him will be beneficial for our current players and being someone who knows the third tier well will serve the Reds well in terms of going into the new season with eyes wide open.

Interviews

LUCA CONNELL POST FOREST

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On why we've added James to the ranks, the boss responded:

"Two reasons. One, we think he's a good player," asserted Duff. "We think he's good enough to make a real impact on the pitch, first and foremost - that's his job. He's got a bank of games, he's proven at the level. He scores goals.

"And two, in my opinion, you might actually help to develop some of the younger players quicker, if they've got someone that's been there and done it, alongside them. It doesn't always have to be the coaching staff bringing players on, he can pull them in the dressing room and go 'look this might happen, or you might need to do that'. 

"Whether that's an arm around the shoulder, or a 'verbal volley' shall we call it. It's a really important part of his [Norwood] job, that he's fully aware that he's expected to take here.

"But ultimately, his job is to come and score goals. So we think he ticks all the boxes."


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