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Kewell Happy With Final Pre-season Game

29 August 2020

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The Head Coach was left pleased with his player's efforts after another win in pre-season alongside being it his first fixture in the home dugout at Boundary Park.

McAleny and Keillor-Dunn were among the goals once again, but Kewell was quick to praise the efforts of all those in the shirt today and said it was always about improving match fitness.

"It was another game we were looking to get ideas across, looking for players to get fit and come out with no injuries as well as trying to get that good performance and I felt we did that again.

"With the signing of Callum [Whelan] and linking up with Davis [Keillor-Dunn] and Conor [McAleny] as well as Bobby [Grant] it's bringing the best out of them all.

"Everybody seems to be pulling in the same direction, but again we have to remember its pre-season. It was a great performance but we have to keep pushing forward."

He added: "I thought today Lincoln were excellent, they looked fit, they looked sharp. They were playing in little pockets and trying to use the wide areas, so it was a another great test for us."

"Pre-season is always about getting a structure of your team, getting your ideas across to the players and the getting the players to fulfil them in games. 

"From the very first game we played to now, I've drip fed the information and they've all taken it on board. 

"What I'm happy with is in the second-half we changed it up and it still felt to me they were dominant in the way they were playing.

"Lincoln started the second-half great, they got their goal and were on the upper foot. But when we changed it I felt we controlled the game a little bit more and then that little bit of magic from Sido [Jombati] got us the opportunity for Davis to score the goal."

With the friendlies now completed the real business begins next weekend with a cup fixture back at home and he is adamant about starting it in the right way to keep the positivity on the pitch.

"It's an interesting week next week as we prepare for a cup game to start our season properly.

"You want to perform very well because you only get once chance at it. To play in the Carabao Cup you have to play at the highest level.

"In a way we have another week prior to the actual season kicking off properly, but we have to work hard next week and prepare well because Carlisle are bringing a fantastic team.

"The way they play, they play high, like to press and love to score goals so it's going to be another really tough test but one I'm really looking forward to."

Two attacking players that have been out of action from training for a couple of days this week is Zak Dearnley and Danny Rowe, but Kewell admits that his squad is now feeling the effects of regular game time after a lengthy break from the sport.

"I'm fortunate enough it's only little niggles with them both, alongside a couple of others who are now pulling up stiff but everyone has to remember is that these boys haven't played competitive games since March.

"Stiffness, fatigue, all those elements are going to set in now it's about managing that well. Even when the season starts I don't think you're going to see the best of this team just yet."

He continued: "It's been great to get down to the home ground and it's been down to the help of everybody at the club once again.

"The Boundary Park pitch is looking amazing and it's great to see. Clubs like Oldham and others are now taking extreme pride in their pitches and it allows us to play football in the right way and ultimately that's what fans want to see.

"We don't like losing at any time, but if we give our all and try to play the right way fans can relate and support that."


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