Reds' boss looking for his side to build on Cambridge success
Mark Yates is looking to push on following last weekend’s 3-0 success over Cambridge United, which gave his side their first win of the season, at home to Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday.
What has been your message to the players ahead of Saturday’s game against Wycombe?
We can still do a lot more in terms of work, effort, ball retention and creating chances. I always want more, and if we get it then I think we’ll to do well this season.
Will we see any of the injured contingent returning to the squad?
Luke (Rooney) and Jimmy (Smith) are definitely in contention. Conor (Henderson) has also trained this week, so he’s in the squad. At the end of the day we need more competition within the squad so I’m delighted to see Conor fit again.
Of course he hasn’t played since Oxford but he’s looked good this week and it gives us more options through the season, let alone this weekend. We’ll be missing Liam (Donnelly) through suspension so we’ll see where we go in terms of the final starting XI.
(Wycombe boss) Gareth (Ainsworth) and I have got small squads, but the outstanding thing for me is that we’ve got competition in key areas.
Apart from the long-term injuries to Gavin (Tomlin) and Lanre (Oyebanjo), we’re fresh for Saturday.
What about the news that Freddie Woodman has earned a call up to the England under-19s
It’s great for Freddie being in and around that setup, but it’s great for this club that he is a part of that as well.
That said, it shouldn’t affect us as Notts County have called off next weekend’s fixture so we won’t suffer.
We knew what came with Freddie, and I always thought he was going to be in one of the England squads this season.
You can see that he’s maturing already and has had a realisation of what League Two is about, and he’s stood up to the test really well.
He’s a confident player, which is what you need in a squad because it gives confidence to the players in front of him.
Another debutant last Saturday was Christian Scales, how has he settled in?
He’s been great, really hard working. The intensity is different from Under-21 games to League Two, and it’s a type of physicality that some can’t deal with.
We’ve got a good blend of youth and experience and you’ve got to throw the youngsters in there.
Players like Sonny (Bradley), Simon (Walton), Jon (Ashton) and Jimmy (Smith) are helping them on.
The group is continuing to gel well together, a lot better than we’d initially anticipated to be honest.
Are you looking for any additions ahead of next Tuesday’s transfer window deadline?
I’d love to say yes, but I don’t see it happening. Jimmy (Dack) and I are always at games to look at long-term or short-term options, so we’re prepared for every eventuality.
There are a few things in the pipeline but I can’t envision permanent signings, unless we can do something that I don’t expect.
I’m very happy with the squad that we have, so I’m not in any rush at the moment. I’ve only had five or six subs out of the seven for games, but I’d be happy to stick with this squad.
There are times that I do want more, for example if we pick up injuries, but you can ask every manager and they’ll say they always want more bodies.
Jimmy (Dack) and I knew what we were coming into, and I believe we’ve made the right signings who we will continue to work with.
Related news stories below: