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Interviews

NEILL COLLINS AHEAD OF CAMBRIDGE CLASH

28 March 2024

Interviews

NEILL COLLINS AHEAD OF CAMBRIDGE CLASH

28 March 2024

Our Head Coach previewed the upcoming Sky Bet League One match against Cambridge United at Oakwell on Good Friday.

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ON THE INTERNATIONAL BREAK

"It's always about making the best of these enforced breaks. We got some really good work in after Cheltenham then the players got some time off. If training is anything to go by since the return on Monday; reenergised, they've been excellent. That break will maybe be important heading into eight games in 26 days - it's a lot."

ON INJURIES

"Donovan Pines is unfortunately not going to play again this season. The Club have done everything we can to try and get him back but he's ended up having to get surgery. Nothing long-term serious, he'll be back by pre-season. But it's just unfortunate he picked up that injury playing against Bolton. At the time he didn't think it was anything more than a knock but it has turned out to be something a little more serious. Donovan will stay around the squad, very positive, likeable person but we'll obviously miss not having him available.

"Fábio Jaló came back good. He'll play again today for the U18s, purely on the basis he's still needs minutes. He only played I think one start when he was away and two substitute appearances. Fábio is someone that I think can have a big part to play between now and the end of the season if we can get him fit and ready to play first-team football. He's someone that has got that bit of magic, a goalscorer's touch in the final third. We're going to work really hard with him to get him back available.

"Josh Benson, like a number of others, has played for the 21s. Robbie Cundy, he's been a big addition as well. To have Robbie back, especially with Donovan being out, I've really been impressed with Robbie. To have him is a big bonus and he's trained really well this week so he comes back into contention as well. Again, just mindful that we've got a lot of players who have played 30-odd games, so they're in a different place to someone like Robbie. But I do think they'll be a place for everyone between now and the end of the season. The schedule probably dictates that they'll get chances."

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ON RESPONSE TO PREVIOUS MATCH

"Nothing. Nothing major. Doing a lot of the right things. The performance was more than good enough to win against Cheltenham. But I think it's about the fact this is probably the last full week that we'll have until the last week of the season. So it's about what challenges are we going to face. What are we going to be need to be good at? Stay in the game, during the game, because that is what changes a lot of things. Once you're ahead, how do you handle that? Working on things like that, just to get better. The players are highly motivated as you can imagine at this time of the year. 

ON CAMBRIDGE UNITED

"We're all guilty, if you look at final scorelines, of making assumptions. Losing 4-0 at Reading, following on from a 6-0 defeat against Lincoln, it doesn't scream in-form. At 2-0, Cambridge had three guilt-edged chances to make it 2-1 and they were definitely in the ascendency at that point. So many times we've seen it in the EFL if you get that goal the game changes. 

"They've obviously changed their manager. The time period between our game tomorrow and the last game gives them some good time to work on things he wants to implement. The squad is relatively the same. The biggest thing for us is again we recognise their strengths, where we think we can hurt them. If we put in a really good performance, then I think we'll be in a really good position to win the game."

It's Kids for a Quid at Oakwell this Good Friday! Take advantage of this offer by visiting our Box Office, calling 01226 211183 or clicking the banner to our website below!

Please note all U14s must be accompanied by an adult.

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