Connor Looking for Progression at Crawley
Wednesday, 10th Jul 2013 09:17
Assistant boss Terry Connor is looking for the Blues to step up their performance when they take on Crawley Town at the Broadfield Stadium in their second pre-season friendly this evening (KO 7.45pm). Mick McCarthy’s right-hand man wants to see a progression from Saturday’s 2-0 victory at Shelbourne.
Connor outlined what he is expecting from the game against the League One side: “More of the same but, with no disrespect to Shelbourne, probably a better team to play. We’ll be looking for a step-up and a progression through the pre-season.
“But the most important thing is that we look after ourselves and we get ourselves ready for August 3rd.”
New signing Paul Anderson looks set to make his first appearance in a Town shirt, while trialists Dean Gerken and Dan Seaborne could again be involved. The Blues seem likely to field a different XI in each half as they did at Shelbourne on Saturday.
Anderson, who joined from Bristol City in a swap deal which saw Jay Emmanuel-Thomas move the other way earlier this week, says he can’t wait to get into action: “I’m really looking forward to getting going now and playing in the friendlies leading up to the start of the season.
“It’s always difficult when you go to a new club. You are never sure how you are going to fit in, how long it will take for you to gel.
“Luckily, I know a few of the lads here already and that helps but there seems to be a good group here anyway.”
Youngsters David October, Kyle Hammond, Byron Lawrence, Amir Berkane and Mark Timlin were all with the squad in Ireland last week and – along with the likes of Jack Marriott and Tom Winter – some of them could be included in tonight’s travelling party.
Connor believes that the quintet that made last week’s trip and played against Shelbourne will have benefited from the experience. However, he says that was just a beginning and that they, like the rest of the squad, have a lot of work still to do: “They did well for their first game. We’re not going to get carried away.
“It was a first pre-season game, they’ve been training with us for the best part of the week and they acquitted themselves well [on Saturday].
“But, there’s a long way to go to 3rd August and an awful long way to go to next May, so they’ve made a good start, an encouraging start but that’s about it.”
Crawley beat local side Oakwood 8-1 on Friday and their manager Richie Barker is similarly looking for his side to build on their first game.
"Friday was a very useful exercise and we got a lot of benefit from 90 minutes but needless to say Ipswich will be a lot different,” he told the official Crawley site.
"Mick McCarthy is extremely experienced and the way he got Ipswich up the table last season after he took over was outstanding. They have added to their squad and I'm looking forward to a very competitive game.
“No doubt both sides will mix and match things a bit but it's nonetheless a competitive game and one we are looking forward to.
"We will probably look to give as much game time as possible to the lads again, as we did on Friday, and work on a few things, as I'm sure Mick will."
Crawley’s squad is likely to include midfielder Andy Drury, who rejoined his former loan side this summer following his release by Town, ex-Blues striker Billy Clarke and midfielder Josh Simpson, a one-time academy schoolboy at Playford Road.
Elsewhere, former loanee Giovani Dos Santos has agreed a four-year deal with Villarreal after moving from Real Mallorca, who were relegated from La Liga at the end of last season.
Meanwhile, another ex-loanee, Wolves defender Richard Stearman, has switched international allegiance to the Republic of Ireland, for whom he qualifies via his maternal grandparents, having previously represented England at U21 level.
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