We caught up with Southend United manager Kevin Bond following the release of the League One 2019/20 fixtures on Thursday.
As well as offering his thoughts on the schedule, Bond also spoke about pre-season testing and signings.
On facing Coventry City first up….
I always think when the fixtures come through you’ve got something to plan for now.
Before the fixtures come out you know the season’s ahead of you, but you don’t quite know what’s coming. The day the fixtures come out I always think it’s the start of the planning for the season.
You know who you’re going to meet, you know what you’re up against and now the planning begins.
There’s a level of excitement when the fixtures come through regardless of who you get. We’ve got an away game against Coventry first up at St Andrews which will be interesting for us.
Hopefully we can get the season underway in the first few games on a positive note, and that’s what we’re going to be aiming for.
On if he would have preferred a home game first…
You can overthink things, what you’d prefer and what you’d like, let’s be honest it is what it is. We just hope to make the best start whatever it is that you’re dealt with.
Coventry are going to have to play at a ground that’s foreign to them so if we can take advantage of that it would be great. But we can’t take anything for granted which they will be aware of as well so it may make them more determined.
You can never second guess what’s going to happen, all we can do is prepare the best we can for them all.
On facing the League Two champions early on in the season…
Lincoln will be a tough game as they will be full of confidence and will be excited to see how they fare in the league above. We can only hope that it’s a good deal more difficult for them in League One than it was in League Two.
On the travelling to Manchester either side of Boxing Day…
We’ve probably got 25 games or so to worry about before them ones!
Obviously I’ve had a look at all the fixtures and the key periods, the start, the run-in, you look at that but at the end of the day our main focus is on Coventry in the first game of the season.
We can’t take our eye off what’s directly in front of us.
On the Carabao Cup draw and how he will approach the cup games...
We will try our level best to win every game we go into and that will be no different in the cup competitions.
On pre-season starting next week…
The players will be back in at the end of next week for testing. I hope they've had a good summer and that they’ve taken good care of themselves while they've been enjoying themselves.
I've spoken to them during the summer and I hope they all come back really focused and determined for us all to give a good account of ourselves this season and be the best that we can be.
On summer signings…
I can’t go into detail, it would be wrong, but we’ve obviously lost some players who were here on loan and also lost some players whose contracts expired.
A number of them will be replaced and its what we’re working on literally as we speak.
As soon as we have something to report for definite, I won’t be one of these that is drawn into speculation and if’s and but’s and who I would like because I think it can be misleading and I wouldn’t want to mislead anybody, least of all our supporters.
When I have something concrete to tell them they will be the first to know.