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Interviews

Lots of positives, but also room for improvement

13 March 2018

Striker Tom Hopper felt there was plenty to be encouraged by from the 3-3 draw at Wigan.

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16 March 2018

Before the game, the Latics had only conceded 23 goals, the least in the league. However, that didn’t affect United as Hopper’s brace and Ivan Toney’s goal against his former club made it 26.

Hopper believes it was down to the execution of their game plan. He discussed this, the result and his goals in an interview with iFollow Iron.

ON THE RESULT…
TH: We came to a tough place, scored three goals and played really well which we needed to do after recent performances. Ultimately, we were disappointed not to be coming away with three points. There are lots of positives to be taken but there is still plenty of room for improvement. We went there with a plan which we have worked on all week in training and we feel that we executed it in the way that we set out to do. That’s very pleasing.

ON SCORING THREE GOALS AGAINST THE TEAM WITH THE BEST DEFENSIVE RECORD IN THE LEAGUE…
TH: It was massive as that is a tough place to go to regardless. On top of that, they haven’t conceded many this season. To go and score three past them but only come away with a point is ultimately disappointing but we are very pleased with the performance. There are plenty of positives to take away from that.

ON HIS TWO GOALS…
TH: Funso (Ojo) found me with a great ball for the first one and Bish (Neal Bishop) found me for the second. I have been working really hard all week to get into certain areas. They found me on Saturday and thankfully I put them away.

ON HOW IMPORTANT THOSE GOALS WERE FOR HIM…
TH: Personally, it’s massive for a striker. You need those goals for confidence and I have always said since coming here that I want to score more. Saturday was pleasing, especially for the goals to come in the way that they did. We bounced back from disappointment twice to get us back into the game. That probably changed the mood going into half-time so that we could come out positively and get the third.

ON THE TIMING OF THE GOALS…
TH: It is a different team talk for the gaffer (Graham Alexander) if you’re 2-1 down at half-time. The reaction from everyone was great. As a team we try to defend from the front and attack as a team. We think that we proved that on Saturday with Bish (Neal Bishop) getting high up the pitch and getting the ball into the box. There are lots of positives to be taken.

ON TONEY BAGGING HIMSELF A GOAL AGAINST HIS FORMER CLUB…
TH: He is buzzing. He worked hard all game tirelessly and deserved it. Plus, it was a great finish so he will be pleased with that.

ON PARTNERING UP WITH IVAN…
TH: It has been great. We share the workload and do similar things. We try and occupy as many of the back four as we can. It’s good for the strike force to be on the scoresheet and hopefully that can continue.

ON DRAWING CONFIDENCE FROM TODAY’S PERFORMANCE GOING INTO SHREWSBURY…
TH: We need to take something from that performance. We will work hard in training all week and set up a plan with how we want to beat Shrewsbury. It will be another tough game at home but if we can take confidence from the Wigan game I am sure that we can go and cause them a problem.

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