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Interviews

Preview: Fagan eyes win in first game in charge

9 September 2019

Newly appointed U23s Manager Craig Fagan is looking forward to his first game in charge of his young Blues side when they face Scunthopre U23s at Roots Hall tomorrow, but says a win is all that he's focused on.

After beating Fleetwood Town convincingly 4-1 in the previous Qualifying Round, the U23s will go in search of reaching the Group stages of the Premier League Cup for the first time ever.

Here’s what Fagan said in the build-up to the game at Roots Hall on Tuesday afternoon.

A reminder that entry is free for the game, full details here.

On his first full week in the job leading up to Scunthorpe…

It's been a whirlwind week, getting stuff settled and then with a game the following week. It’s a big game in the sense because we'll get six extra fixtures against category two Academy's so I’m looking forward to it myself and I think the lads are as well.

On if it’s been a productive week as well…

It’s been hard at times because some of the lads from the U23s go and train with the first team and we’ve had a lot of injuries first team wise, so they need some of the boys to put session’s on. But it's been a good week getting how I want things to be done and how I want the lads to play. It's only been a week so it’s going to take time. I’m sure some of it will come out tomorrow, hopefully, and then they will improve and pick up stuff which I want them to do.

On the squad for the game…

It will be similar to the Fleetwood squad. It’s not definitely nailed on if there’s going to be any first team lads because of the injuries that there are but I’m sure the lads if they are involved will give 100 per cent as they did last time. If not, then it’s a chance for the U23s to step up, it’s their competition so the way I like to train and play is if your playing well you're looking to keep your shirt and people have to earn the right to get that shirt off you, so you train how we play. The standard is you improve if you're training like that.

On Matt Rush and Emile Aquah continuing their good form…

Emile played in the Leasing.com Trophy away to Leyton Orient. Matt Rush is out on loan and it’s a good opportunity for them again. They need to be playing well and with that cup experience that Emile's got from the first team they need to be showing those types of standards now in U23 football and proving the reasons why they’re out on loan and why they should be involved in the first team. Both of them like to score goals so hopefully tomorrow they’re looking sharp in and around the box and nicking a couple goals.

On extra incentive to possibly face his former club if they can get through…

Obviously the incentive is to win the game without a doubt, it wouldn’t make any difference really who we would get. To be honest Newcastle and West Brom, they're renowned clubs for producing players, the last club I came from Hull, is too so it would be good to go there and manage this team myself and put my tactical knowledge against someone who I was working for. There’s motivation in that respect but we just need to win the game to get through.

On the game being played at Roots Hall and his hope of a good crowd…

Yeah let’s hope so, it does make a massive difference with it being at the ground, I’m not sure too many people would come and watch if it was at the training grounds so it gives it that little buzz as well for the players playing at their home stadium. I just hope we do get the same numbers to come in and watch like last tme. I know everyone’s back at school now and things like that but hopefully with the kick off time we can get a few people in to watch and encourage the lads into the next round.


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