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Kewell On Weekend Postponement

8 February 2021

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© Eddie Garvey

The Head Coach spoke to iFollow Latics at the start of a new week in what will see his side have a full week’s preparation again.

After waiting patiently seven days for the fixture against Scunthorpe the fixture was called off by the Match Official two hours before kick-off in what could be best described as torrential conditions, a decision Kewell ultimately supported regarding the circumstances.

“It was unfortunate we couldn’t play and looking at it, it was the correct call to make as neither team would’ve been able to play any kind of football on the surface. I had a FaceTime call with the referee before the announcement who showed me the conditions as we were still at the venue having our pre-match meal.

“The ball wouldn’t bounce or roll properly so it was always going to be difficult to play on it although Scunthorpe did try their best to get the game on.”

He added: “We understand it may seem only like a bit of rain but from what we saw, the information that we got from our kit man and the media who were already there, we knew in the end that the game wasn't going to be playable. It’s a shame as we were prepared for it and had a good week’s training, but that’s how it goes with the difficult weather conditions we’ve been facing in recent weeks. We’ll have to adapt again and remain focused."

With it being only Latics’ second postponement of the season, it means both away games that should have been at a weekend will now be rescheduled for a midweek evening. Something the Head Coach knows is not ideal but a factor teams in League Two continue to face, so knew it was a matter of when, not if, his side had a backlog of fixtures.

“You have to be able to adapt in this game as I keep saying. We're professional enough to deal with unfortunate circumstances and setbacks like this, it can’t be used as an excuse and now we have to be ready for the next test as this week is all about preparation again. 

“We knew everything that we had to do and at the last minute it got called off so instead of going left, we went right and back home. 

“Now we have to put Scunthorpe to one side and we concentrate now on Exeter.”

With it being two weeks since the last encounter, it has given Kewell’s team a chance to work on a number of different training sessions, mostly high-intensity workouts and although nothing can completely replicate a game scenario, it may be a blessing in disguise.

“We've got a hectic schedule coming up anyway, so it's a good chance for us to get some good work into the players again before the Tuesday/Saturday turnaround. 

“It’ll give us a chance to implement some fresh ideas and we will take it from there.”

He continued: “Not playing the game is of benefit for some of the players though, those that are working their way back to full fitness. But like I said, it's going to be hectic again soon so we need to make sure we’re ready for the demands as we want to finish the season strongly. 

“We’re fortunate enough in a way that the two games that have been cancelled haven't been at Boundary Park, it’s been at other venues and there's really nothing we can do about it. So again, I take my hat off to and thank the ground staff here who are working tirelessly to make sure our pitch is in the best condition it can be to host our upcoming fixtures.”

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