United Boss reflects on Tractor Boys friendly
Richard Money was pleased to have given his side another pre-season run out but felt improvements will need to made following a narrow 3-2 defeat at the hands of Ipswich Town last night.
The men in Amber and Black played valiantly against their Championship opponents, and fought back from a 0-2 first half deficit through goals from Barry Corr and Luke Berry, before David McGoldrick secured the result for the visitors.
Delighted to have given a large majority of his first team squad crucial game time during the match, Money did admit that areas of improvement were identified and that the pre-season provides the perfect opportunity to iron them out.
“We tried to share the minutes out in the group as best we could, everybody had another 45 minutes plus under their belts and we have the two games this weekend that will top them up,” said the United Manager.
“There were times where I felt we played well and other times that were not so good.
“It was a great exercise because it is much better to be able to identify the problems in pre-season than to have loads of the ball, win 4-0 and then get to the first game of the season where the situation is totally different.
“The match was very similar to what we can expect on the 8th August, but obviously against a top side with much more quality without being disrespectful to anybody.
“At times Ipswich looked two divisions above us but that made it a very good test.”
Reflecting on the opening 15 minutes of the second half, in which the U’s levelled the score line thanks to a superb free kick from Luke Berry and came close to taking the lead in the match, Money added: “That is the part of the game that we will focus on because there looked to be some real purpose in the group at that stage.
“We got the goal just before half time thanks to a great delivery from Jeff [Hughes] and a strong header from Barry Corr and we carried that momentum into the second half.
“What happens in pre-season when you are trying to share the minutes out, you do end up with some strange partnerships out on the pitch.
“We need to keep looking at what those partnerships are going to be because some work and some don’t, but I thought for 15 to 20 minutes in the second half we were good.”
Looking ahead to United’s next three pre-season encounters against Concord Rangers, Bromley FC and Coventry City at the Abbey Stadium next Tuesday, Money says it’s important he continues to share the minutes played to allow the U’s to approach the 2015/16 season in the correct physical state.
He said: “At the moment without Keane, Donaldson, Gaffney and Akintunde it’s not easy to share those minutes without giving players too much game time.
“We had a couple of trialists against Ipswich and it will probably be the same on Friday and Saturday because we want to make sure that people don’t play too much.
“The most important thing is to have everybody fit and well for the Newport County game on 8th August.”