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Portsmouth Press Conference

8 December 2016

On Saturday, we welcome Portsmouth to Blundell Park. Manager Marcus Bignot faced the press this afternoon at Cheapside to discuss his squads fitness and the fixture itself:

On the mini-break

10 days is it?! It's been a really good working 10 days, a great opportunity to try and implement what I want to get across to the players. For us its always about improvement as individuals and as a group, developming and moving forward. It's been groundbreaking, a lot of hard work for them, mentally, physically, tactically, you name it and we have covered it. I've enjoyed it and like I said, there hasn't been enough days and hours!

On what has been learned during the break

It's not about what I've learnt its about what we've all learned and we have certainly learnt off one another. There is a lot of work to be done but there has been real good strides in moving forward. I've been able to speak to them as groups and also as individuals and that's probably been the first time I've been able too and I've nearly got around everybody now. You learn so much from sitting down with someone and having a little chat, you'd be amazed what you find out.

On the injury front

Saturday will be too soon (for Ben Davies). He's had a steady build up from the beginning of the week and each day he is getting stronger physically and mentally as well. We are pleased with him and I expect, fingers crossed he will be fully in training come Monday. Like I said if you look at Ben Davies, you look at Sean McAllister, they will be like new signings in the January Window for me. 

On Sean McAllister

Marcus had a laugh with the press, emphasising that he is excited to see the midfielder return. "He best be ready for January or i'm going to be returning him! Whatever you get for Christmas you open it, are you happy if not, you send it back, so I can't wait to open him up!"

On Portsmouth

Individually very technically good players, better than this level. You expect that from a club the size of Portsmouth. They play a brand of football that will be exciting on Saturday, because we play exciting football as well so i'm told, it'll probably be a boring 0-0 draw now! We're looking forward to it, like any team they have their strengths and we have certainly worked on them and we will nullify them. It'll be a great gauge to see how far we have come, how far away we are or how far ahead we are. Saturday, when you look at the occasion it is a day of realism, Portsmouth, League Two, the players they have had playing for them. There is a realism of the pitfalls if you don't get it right, not only on the pitch but off the pitch as well. Our job now is to become established and that means being shrewd off the pitch as well as on it, one can not be successful without the other. You're going to have two sets of passionate fans, two very good footballing teams, I've gone on record and said get your double on us out-singing Portsmouth and Doncaster and if we don't run for them supporters on Saturday, they will be running home. That support will give them the extra yard and if they can't find that extra yard playing in front of them then they'll be doing marathons.

The full pre-match press conference will be available over on Mariners PlayerHD later this evening.

Tickets are selling fast for the fixture. You can purchase yours online now by clicking HERE

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