The Iron will mark their return to Sky Bet League One by kicking off the new season with an away trip to Swindon.Our striker, who has been in-form in pre-season with four goals, is hoping he can continue scoring in a league he knows very well, having won the Golden Boot while with Yeovil in 2012/13, as he helped the Glovers to promotion to the Championship, via the play-offs.
The 24-year-old, capped once by the Republic of Ireland, sat down with the club’s website to discuss pre-season, the upcoming campaign and targets for 2014/15.
First of all, how do you feel your personal pre-season preparations have gone? Are you ready and excited for the new season?
PM: “Yeah. It’s a big season for the club back in League One. All the boys are really excited for the challenge ahead. I think my personal preparations have gone well. I’ve hit the ground running with goals in pre-season and I’m looking forward to carrying that into the season.”
Having played in Sky Bet League One before, what differences can we expect this season from last season in terms of the quality of opposition and the style of football in the league?
PM: “I think there is a jump. Most people seem to think that League One and League Two are quite similar but if you play in both of them you notice the difference. In League One, they will punish you more. Strikers in this league, if you give them chances they will punish you and you won’t get away with it as much. If you lose the ball it takes you longer to get it back. Each level you go up it’s harder, when you jump up to the Championship it’s different as well, but with the squad we have this year I’m sure we will be alright.”
Do you think your experience of the league will stand you in good stead for the season ahead?
PM: "Yeah I think it will. I’ve been over in England for four years. Other than the last six months in League Two, I’ve played in League One and in the Championship so I’ve played at this level and higher. I think I know what League One is all about and I’m looking forward to being back in it.”
Last time you played in League One you were top scorer in the league, managing 23 goals. Do you have any particular targets for this season?
PM: "I start off by aiming to get 15 league goals. If I get that, then I'll be looking to get more but first it's just the initial 15 I aim to get and I'd be happy, although I have confidence in my ab ability to get more."
How do you feel your relationship with the other strikers in the team has developed over the last seven or eight months?
PM: "Very well. Sam (Winnall) has gone now but I got on well with him off the pitch, Deon (Burton) is great and his experience is good to have around the club. If you look at the things he's done, there's a lot you can learn from him. Lyle (Taylor) has come in this summer, he is looking sharp and we got on very well off the pitch, as I do with Deon. We've all gelled well and we are all looking forward to the challenge ahead."
Obviously the first game of the season this Saturday is away at Swindon. What do you think we can expect from them?
PM: "We can expect them to keep the ball. When I played them with Yeovil two years ago, we found Swindon, along with Bournemouth, were the best footballing side in the league. They have a big pitch down at the County Ground, so they'll try to keep the ball for as long as they can and it is up to us to get into them and cause them problems and hopefully punish them."