Head Coach Simon Grayson spoke to the press on Thursday afternoon ahead of Fleetwood Town's Sky Bet League One opener against Portsmouth at Highbury.
Grayson - who has seen his side come out of pre-season unbeaten, winning four out of the five outings - is raring to go for the upcoming Sky Bet League One season, and knows that it is starting off with a tough match against Pompey at Highbury Stadium.
Here's what he had to say in his pre-match interview:
On Saturday’s opponents…
“Most teams would like to be at home for the first league game back with supporters, it’s going to be a great atmosphere. Portsmouth are known for their supporters travelling and they are one of the favourites for the division this year.
“They’ve been in the division for a few years now and they are desperate to get out of it. We’ve got to make sure that we just play our game, not the occasion, and make sure that we focus on what we are doing and what we have worked on. We’ll respect the opposition but at the same time, make sure they don’t have an easy time.
“I think we are in as good a place as we can be. The fitness levels have been good in the games so far and we’ve got nearly a full complement of first-team players available for selection. We’ve worked hard, it’s been tough for the players, but I’ve been encouraged by the signs in the games and training sessions and the proof will be in the pudding come Saturday.
On the new season…
“I worked it out yesterday that this will be my 35th season since starting out as a youngster at Leeds. This season is no different to any other really, there’s excitement as we are looking forward to the new season, anticipation to see what the year has in hold for you, but mainly it’s excitement.
“When you look at the division, it’s going to be tough this year on paper – football isn’t played on paper. You’ve got some big teams, who have big fan bases, some who are spending of money, and there are teams who have been around the division for several years who feel they should progress due to performances in previous seasons.
“You can’t wait to get the new season underway and see where the next nine to ten months is going to take you. Every fan, player, and manager up and down the country will be having their own dreams and expectations and will be hoping that they will have a successful season.”
On naming Jordan Rossiter captain…
“Jordan has been here a few years now and is the heartbeat of the midfield, who leads by example and plays with his heart on his sleeve as well. Sometimes you don’t need, we’ve got Tom Clarke who has been captain for me whilst at Preston, but Tom will be doing the same whether he had an armband or not.
“Jordy has a lot of experience in his career now and knows that the young players can go to him for advice so it’s nice for him to be named captain but, we want the old cliché of eleven captains on the pitch at any time.”
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