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McLaughlin confident

4 August 2012

Town’s new acquisition in defence, Conor McLaughlin, is focused on getting up to speed ahead of today’s game against Tranmere Rovers following 90 minutes last Tuesday.

By Liz Owen

Town’s new acquisition in defence, Conor McLaughlin, is focused on getting up to speed ahead of today’s game against Tranmere Rovers following 90 minutes last Tuesday.

Speaking ahead of today’s game, McLaughlin is expecting another tough test, but one that the squad are capable of overcoming. “It’s going to be a difficult game; we found that out against Oldham, a League 1 team,” he said. “So we’re going to have to do better and take the confidence from today [Tuesday] into Saturday, and we should be alright.” Off the field, former team-mates Jon Parkin, Youl Mawene and Barry Nicholson have helped McLaughlin integrate into the Town squad. “It’s handy having a few lads that I do know from Preston,” he said, “and everyone else has been brilliant welcoming all the new lads. They’re a good bunch of lads.” The defender said he is feeling sharper following his inclusion in the side that beat Kilmarnock 4-0 midweek. “I’m feeling fitter, I’ve played two full ninety minutes now so it’s helped fitness-wise. It was a good workout for the lads today [Tuesday] and we put in a good performance,” he said. “We’re working on a few things in training and we tried to put them into practice in the game and it came off, with the back four work and stuff. We scored a few goals as well which is always a bonus.” Despite the warm weather, Town retained possession and played some attractive passing football against a side from the Scottish Premier League. “It is hard work but we kept the ball well in spells, so sometimes it’s better; you’re not having to run as far,” McLaughlin said, “but I managed to go up and down the wing a few times and that’s helping my fitness as well, so it’s all good.” “Whenever we were getting overrun we managed to keep it [the ball] and take the pressure off us, and managed to create a lot of chances as well. Bally’s put two good finishes away so it was a good workout all round.” McLaughlin has been called up to the Northern Ireland U21 squad for their upcoming friendly against Hungary on August 15th in Tatabanya, an opportunity for the 21-year-old to make his sixth appearance for the side. Chris Maxwell, meanwhile, has been named in Wales U21 boss Geraint Williams’ 18-man squad for their Euro 2013 qualifier against Armenia on the same day.

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