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Match Previews

Johnson Previews Season Opener

7 August 2014

Manager Lee Johnson feels Saturday's League One opener with Colchester United has a 'cup final mentality' feel as the club embark on their 18th successive season in this division.

The gaffer has made eight acquisitions to his squad over the summer with the notable signings of team captain Liam Kelly, Mike Jones and Jonathan Forte.

Pre-season has proven to be successful for the manager as his side only lost once with an early defeat to Romanian champions Steaua Bucharest.

Victories over Curzon Ashton, Newcastle United and Huddersfield Town has seen confidence grow amongst the players and supporters and Johnson cannot wait to get started.

He said: "It's been a long time coming and it's took a lot of preparation. It was a bit of a lengthy pre-season because we brought them in ten days earlier but we feel ready and organised and everybody is excited. You can forget the pre-season form and fixtures because now we are into the big stuff and we are looking forward to it.

"Expectations should always start off high at the football club and it's exciting times for the club. You can see what's happening around the place and we've made some good aquisitions on the playing side. We've all got another years experience under our belts and we are all excited going into the season full of high hopes."

Colchester United have enjoyed a prolific pre-season as they notched over 30 goals. The manager is aware of their threats and expects a tough game.

"I expect them to be a good side. They traditionally start well in the division. We know their strengths and weaknesses and we had a tough game against them last year. They are a similar stature club to us as far as resources," commented Johnson.

"They have a good young manager and it will be a good game. I always see the first game of the season as a cup final mentality because that's how it feels. There is a big build up to it and everyone is excited so we've got to go there and don't disappoint anyone."

With less than a month until the end of the transfer window, the manager is not ruling out more signings but he is expecting nothing imminent.

He said: "We are comfortable with this group of players at the moment. There is a possibility of adding a couple more in the coming weeks whether that be on loan or permanent. At the moment we are pleased with the squad and we have to steer clear of injuries."

Watch the full interview on Latics Player.

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