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Fitness Still The Key For Darren Kelly

22 July 2015

Fitness is still the key for manager Darren Kelly as his side were beaten 2-0 at home to Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday night.

Liam Feeney put the Trotters ahead before Brian Wilson's own goal before the end of the first half sealed the win for the visitors.

Speaking after the game, Kelly reflected on the game but eyed the long-term goal: "Everything is geared towards August 8," he said. "The big thing for me is they get the exercise and the match practice because they came up a very good Championship side in Bolton who will be challenging this season so no doubt the players have got something out of it. 

"The good thing about this stage of the season is that we will look at it, reflect on it and work on it. In terms of the games so far, we have looked and addressed our errors and we are looking to improve as we go on. There are going to be mistakes at this time of the season but it is important we learn from them."

The only outfield player to complete 90 minutes was central defender and trialist Gavin Gunning and the manager spoke of his influence on the squad.

"Gavin is a great lad and he's great to have around the place," he admitted." You can see the leadership qualities that he brings. 

"He is not quite match fit yet because of the injuries he has had but he has come in and done really well. He'll bring that extra bit of quality in the next week or two so we will keep monitoring that one."

With the second home pre-season against Blackburn Rovers on the horizon, the manager anticipates much of the same from that game as players return to full fitness ahead of the new season. 

"We are still trying everyone out. We have a structure which we want to use and it is about making sure the players are ready for the 90 minutes. We don't want to chuck them in and for injuries to happen," Kelly said. 

"Luckily we have an injury free squad and that is key to getting good game time and that is the most important thing."

Watch the full interview on Latics PlayerHD.

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