On his first League game in charge
I've waited a long time for this. This is what all those days, months, years of learning and becoming a student of the game and finally now getting the opportunity to be a football league manager. But not only that, the football league manager of Grimsby town fills me with immense pride and tomorrow is going to be, i'm going to make my friends and family proud of me and its going to mean a lot to me tomorrow.
On Wednesday's game vs. Sheffield United
Wednesday was like a blind date, they told me all about it but certainly Saturday is the first date, the one I've wanted, the one I've looked forward too. I'm going to dress to impress and hopefully my players can impress too. it was a worthwhile exercise, even down to the little trivial things such as the managers office, where you park your car, the preparation, the organisation, it was great and you see individual performances and they get into your head for Saturday. Like i said it was never a game or a week where i was going to judge players id be naive to even think I could make a judgement on the players as a squad. Wednesday was another opportunity to impress upon me and some certainly did.
On his current squad
I'm delighted. I've gone on record to say how much Paul Hurst has put a good group together, there's a lot of options available to us and i'm really excited about that. Like any group there's always areas that we can improve on and what we do well there's always that time were we want to be better at that as well so, it's ever evolving, ever wanting to be better and that's certainly us. That's credit to Mooro (Dave Moore) and the guys in the medical team and Helen assisting (having a healthy squad). To have a first week the way its gone, the staff at the club, at the training ground have made the transition easy for me and then the guys, the staff at the football club, all the things away from the football club, they've gone above and beyond to help so I can concentrate on the players I just wish I could take them home!
Now that would be telling! As you've seen we've had a clean bill of health. What I want to put out tomorrow, it's available so it's always a pat on the back to your staff when you have that.
On Saturday's visitors
They've got a certain way of playing and we've got to stand up to that, we've certainly prepared for that, they certainly know about that, Barnet wont throw any surprises that we don't know. We need to stand up to their strengths, nullify them the best that we can and then go and play our football and exploit their weaknesses.
On John Akinde
He's one of another 10 out there. A very good player at this level but if you focus too much on him you will forget the process, the ball actually has to get to him! We've got to work at that, if you stop the supply, it could be a quiet afternoon for him. The way they play, he will always be the main vocal point and everything goes through him. Its going to have to be 93-94 minutes of real organisation and concentration off the ball so we keep him quiet in terms of getting into goal scoring opportunities and if they do, limit the chances they create. We've worked on it, we've prepared for it so going into the game were confident.
On 5,000 tickets sold prior to matchday
Like I said, this is now the icing on the cake. Its been a great week but for me, Saturday, I've waited a long time for this day but to be Grimsby Towns manager and to go in front of THAT and you're saying 5,000 sold already, i'll walk out with definite pride. I'm not going to let any of this pass, i'm going to give everything to this football club, every minute of every day and I hope that reflects in my teams as well. I want the town to be proud of us and that's what we will install because certainly, i'm proud of this town.
None. Just pure excitement, absolutely pure excitement. If its any nerves it will just be pure enthusiasm i'm probably too excited to be totally honest, I want to put a shirt on and play myself. I need to manage my emotions if i'm being honest and remain focused because ill be kicking, tackling, passing, scoring, every pass and goal made tomorrow but ive got to remain focused in terms of the job at hand and that's all about putting in a performance that hopefully gives us a positive result
You will be able to catch the managers full pre-match press conference over on Mariners PlayerHD.
Tickets are still available online for tomorrow by clicking HERE.