Oxford United get their Sky Bet League 1 season under way on Saturday when they travel to Cambridge United for their opening game of the season.
“I can’t wait to get going” Liam Manning told iFollow today. “The season has come round so quickly and we have been really happy with the work we have done in pre-season. Now it’s a case of transferring that into the first game of the season, one we know is going to be an extremely difficult one.
“We go into every Saturday looking to win and then we will work off the back of that. We won’t set markers and say "let’s see where we are after, say, ten games”. We have done a lot with the lads around being excellent every day: work to your maximum every time, turn up, do everything you can and the result on a Saturday will then, hopefully, take care of itself.
“We have pretty much everyone available. Credit to the staff for that. We asked them to take the players out of their comfort zone in pre-season and stretch them, but you want as many players available for the first League game as possible. We have a couple of lads carrying slight knocks, no long-term issues but just a couple of twinges we want to wrap up and take care of but other then those two we are OK.
“I have some big decisions on who plays. Players get it and I have been clear all along that in the team, on the bench, not in the squad: they all get treated properly, all get coached and all understand their roles when they step on to the pitch.
“We used something like 34 players last season so things can change in a week. You have to be ready and have to be in a good headspace to take your chance. All of the lads will put the team first this season and if we all do that then ultimately we will get what we want.
“The fans have been incredible- even the numbers in pre-season. It’s a sell out and they will get behind us, we know that, so it should be a fantastic occasion, one I hope they are looking forward to as much as we are.”
See the full interview plus Liam’s thoughts on new signing Max Woltman, all in iFollow.