Carl Magnay says there are encouraging signs coming from the early part of pre-season but insists Pools must build a greater resilience to succeed in the new campaign.
Young Pools fan Jack Wheelhouse has been spending some time at Victoria Park on work experience this week and was part of the Club’s media team for Wednesday’s friendly win at Dunston.
The aspiring journalist had the opportunity to interview Pools star Carl Magnay following the 7-0 triumph at the UTS Stadium to find out how the defender is feeling ahead of the big kick-off.
Magnay told him that the spirit in the camp is building well as the pre-season preparations continue and that the extra resilience brought in to the squad can serve them well during 2017/18.
Jack: So, it was another good pre-season result and things seem to be taking shape - what are your views on the game?
CM: It was similar to the Billingham game, high scoring which is always nice and you want your frontmen firing and hitting the back of the net and getting into good habits so that’s always pleasing. I think we are just trying to take the manager’s ideas into the games, regardless of the opposition. He wants the ball down, he wants to build through the thirds with possession and as soon as we give it away - which I think was evident in both games - we’ve got an ethos that we get it back as quick as we can. We don’t just chase needlessly, we do it with a bit of thought. You can see the reaction as soon as we lose possession that the boys are willing to get it back as soon as possible and that’s what the manager wants.
Jack: The squad have been back for three weeks now. How do you think the team is gelling and what is the general feel in and around the squad?
CM: Really good, I was discussing it before the game and I think it helps that a lot of the current lads knew some of the new lads that were coming in so that made it an easy transition for them to fit into the squad. The camp is in good spirits you know, it’s always exciting when a new player comes in and I think the lads have reacted to it well. The recruitment has been spot on so we’re all looking forward to gelling and getting to know each other a bit more!
Jack: Obviously the goal for next season is promotion back to the EFL where we belong, how do you think we need to go about getting back as quick as possible?
CM: We have to be able to display both sides of the game. I think last season it was evident that we were a nice footballing side but we sat off teams too much and physically we maybe got bullied or we didn’t work hard enough to get the ball back. I think this year, particularly at this level, we are going to have to show a bit of steel and resolve, especially away from home because there are some difficult places to go. There is a real emphasis on doing the ugly things and we are all aware of that away from Victoria Park we are going to have to dig in, and that’s going to be a vital component to any success we have this season.
Jack: Finally, from a personal point of view, what are you goals for next season?
CM: I’ve been so impressed with the recruitment and I think all over the park everybody’s competing for a starting place. For me, I just want to play regularly and be that first choice right-back or wherever the gaffer wants me to play. That has to be an aim and with the injury last season I want to stay injury-free and be an asset to the team. I believe I can do that but what’s great is that we are going to have lads around who are going to push each other all the way and that bodes well for a good season ahead. I think we’ve got a strong squad for this league and I’m looking forward to seeing how it pans out.