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Interviews

NEILL COLLINS PREVIEWS OPENING DAY CLASH

3 August 2023

Interviews

NEILL COLLINS PREVIEWS OPENING DAY CLASH

3 August 2023

Neill Collins answered questions from the media ahead of our opening day clash with Port Vale at Oakwell on Saturday, kicking off at 3pm.

ON HIS OPENING WEEKS AT THE CLUB

"I think we've got lots to be positive about. There is a lot, like a lot of coaches, two weeks into pre-season that you'd like to work on. I'm pleased with the responses we've had, every game I think we've been better. I thought our last pre-season game was a good step in the right direction but far from satisfied. We've got a lot of work ahead as well as every team in the league. I feel that once we get that work done on and off the field, we'll go just go from strength to strength."

ON DYNAMIC BETWEEN COACHING STAFF

"I'm so pleased. Jon has come in and done fantastically well, as I expected. But the staff that I've inherited have been a huge help. Obviously, Davvers (Martin Devaney) might be the most prominent one, but I look at people like Matt Cook, Thomas Fawdry, Tom Yeomans, I could name a lot of the staff, they've all been very helpful. I think we're going to rely heavily on them throughout this long season ahead."

ON TEAM NEWS AHEAD OF SATURDAY

"It's still Thursday, we've got one more day to go. We're still assessing some people. I don't think we'll be too far away from the squad that we saw on Saturday. I think that's the quickest way to answer that. Andy Dallas has had a week more training under his belt and has looked good. He trained last week because I think he needed the benefit of training, so Andy probably comes into contention. Adam Phillips is obviously suspended. We'd definitely like to have more guys available but we know that they will come through in time. Get the best out of the young guys we've got available and if they can build on what they did last week against Crewe, that will be good."

ON TRANSFER BUSINESS

"Up until that transfer window is shut, that's when it's completed. Up until that point, you're foolish to think you're completed, because we've got a lot of players that I'm sure people will like and we'll always be pushing to try and make sure we have the best squad available. You never know what might happen to the guys in your squad in terms of injuries. That's all behind the scenes. We're all obviously very focused on getting the team prepared that we have available for this weekend and letting other people focus on what we might need to add to that."

ON PORT VALE

"Bearing in mind, Port Vale haven't played in a league game just like ourselves, so there's always the unknown of that. I know Port Vale right now as well as any other opponent that I did in the USL because I've done the research, but also my staff have done the research. I'm starting to learn about our team now, and I'm really starting to learn more about the other teams because you've got other coaches that are new in their position or they've signed new players and that may change how they approach things. A lot of it will be down to us doing the things we do well and then obviously the opponent always comes into that. We need to focus first and foremost on what we try and do."

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