Chris Wilder on opening win
Manager Chris Wilder praised the professional way that his side kicked off the league campaign on Saturday with a 2-0 win at Bristol Rovers. Expertly taken goals from Jake Forster-Caskey and Alfie Potter earned the U’s their first three points of the season, and the Manager told Yellow Player:
“I thought it was a very professional performance against a side that I think are third or fourth favourites. There are a lot of big clubs trying to get out of this league and to win at one of them on the opening day is very satisfying.
“We wanted to take the game to Bristol Rovers because they are a handful and they put the ball in the box and cross it for Harrold who is also a handful. When we got the team sheet and saw the shape they were playing we thought that was a compliment to our team because they tried to drop someone in on Lee Cox straight away and tried to make it difficult for us, which is fair enough and I said to the players that they would have to deal with that. But I thought it was a pretty even opening period. When we had to play forward we did, when we had to stick our foot in we did and when we had to make some clearances we did. And we went forward to try and score some goals, and ended up scoring two super goals.”
With key men missing through injury it was a youthful United side that came through after also making progress in the Capital One Cup at the expense of Bournemouth on Tuesday night:
“My experienced players were sat in the stands: Leven, Duberry, Whing, So the lads approached the game in a great way. Jake Forster-Caskey has done great. He’s a smashing kid and he played like a man today. There are a lot of young players: Lee Cox is only 21 and I thought he made a quiet start on Tuesday but showed why we brought him to the football club today, he read danger and sniffed it out.
“It was a good effort after a tough 120 minutes on Tuesday. We played that down a little bit but it was a decent effort to come and keep going again, under a little pressure in the second. There were a lot of tired legs out there but they stuck in and ground out the first win of the season.”
United now move on to their first home league game of the season as they welcome Southend United to the Kassam Stadium on Tuesday evening:
“It’s the first week and a great start. The players went over and applauded the fans and they deserved that for their support once again. But we move on and we know we haven’t got a great record against Southend recently. Paul sets his sides out to make it difficult for us and they have had the better of the last two or three meetings. So it’s up to us to dust ourselves down and go again. Hopefully there will be a good atmosphere and week two can be as good for us as week one has been.”