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Alexander to make changes for Sunderland Under-21s clash

28 August 2017

Manager Graham Alexander says there will be changes to the team ahead of the Checkatrade Trophy home group stage clash versus Sunderland Under-21s.

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29 August 2017

United take on the Black Cats at Glanford Park on Tuesday night (7.45pm kick-off) and Alexander has been previewing the clash for iFollow Iron.

He says spirits are understandably high following the 4-0 win at Plymouth Argyle on Saturday.

ON HOW THE PLAYERS ARE AFTER THE WEEKEND…
GA: All the lads are on a high from Saturday’s result. It was a fantastic performance and to get the three points really pleased us. We have to turn our attentions now to Sunderland in the Checkatrade Trophy, and we will undergo preparations on Monday afternoon. We will make some changes to the team but it’s still one we expect will put on a good performance and get a result. It’s a competition we take seriously.

ON WHAT TO EXPECT FROM SUNDERLAND…
GA: You’re never certain of what you’re going to get because it’s international week, so some of their international young players might be away and they might play a couple of seniors who need game time. You never know, but it’s about what we do and that our performance is right. We won’t be making any specific plans against Sunderland because we don’t know what they’ll play like and what team they’ll pick. It’s still early in the season for us and there will be players playing for us on Tuesday who haven’t had a lot of game time. They will be looking to put in a performance that shows they can be called upon for the first team regularly. I enjoy these games because it gives us a chance to bring lads in and they can showcase their qualities to us.

ON THE APPROACH…
GA: We don’t see any game as a ‘freebie’ or a friendly. It’s a competitive game, we want to progress and want to win. Our approach and preparation is exactly the same for any other game this season - we’ll work on our set-pieces and shape, and prepare the right way. We’ll go out and perform, take the game to the opposition and look to go out and win the match.

"We will make some changes to the team but it’s still one we expect will put on a good performance and get a result."

Graham Alexander, manager

ON TEAM SELECTION…
GA: I’m not really one for resting players, especially at this stage of the season. We want to make sure each game we go in with the fittest squad possible. We’ll pick the team we feel can win the game and then pick the bench according to the team and what changes we might need to make.

ON THE INJURY SITUATION…
GA: Pretty similar to last week. We reintroduced Kevin van Veen and Jordan Clarke back into the squad on Saturday so they’ll be involved on Tuesday. Kyle Wootton, Jonathon Margetts and Luke Williams are still a bit away. We will have the same squad available to us as on Saturday.

ON IRON LEGEND CLIFF BYRNE BEING IN THE OPPOSITION DUGOUT…
GA: We see Cliff here quite often, with him doing the commentary for the radio on occasions, and I’ve spoken to him a few times - through being around the football circle. He’s a really genuine lad and he’s a competitive guy, knows we are too, and he will be looking to get a result - but that’s no different to us.

ON THE TRANSFER SITUATION…
GA: I was in with the chairman (Peter Swann) and (head of recruitment) Lee Turnbull on Monday morning, and we went through what we need to help the group we have already. We’re working hard and quietly behind the scenes to try and get the players we feel this club deserves to help us improve.

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