Manchester Development return to Division Two North action today (Sunday 27th January) as they host Wigan Futsal Academy. With both teams flying high in the league, this promises to be an exciting affair.
We caught up with head coach Russell Fryer to get his thoughts ahead of the clash.
With this game being his sides first in over a month, Russell suggested he won’t know if the break has had any affect until the game is underway.
“We won’t really know (if there is any rustiness) for sure until Sunday, but we do lots of game related training at high intensity so I am sure the boys will cope well. One of the advantages of having a young squad is that they don’t tend to pile on weight over Christmas like the rest of us, as most aren’t old enough to drink even if they wanted to.”
Russell admitted the break did come with a small benefit, “It has allowed for any niggles that we had with players to be resolved and bring us almost up to full strength.”
Manchester Development went into the break on the back of a 8-3 defeat to Newcastle. But Russell says this won’t have any sort of negative affect on his side. “Not at all. One of our strengths is that we constantly talk about the development side of things and playing against better opposition. More so than when we win, in defeat we learn so much, so it’s never seen as a catastrophe when we lose, just a learning experience that will make us stronger.”
Last time we faced Wigan it produced an entertaining 7-6 away win for Manchester. With the game being some time ago – he insists this won’t have any sort of impact on the tie.
“It won’t have too much of an affect. We know now where their strengths and weaknesses lie and it’s just whether we can exploit those on the day. Their court is very small and arguably helped them play to their strengths, whereas as ours is large and maybe will play to ours. We shall see!”
Wigan themselves haven’t played since early November – but Russell knows the league well and is aware rustiness may be a factor for the opponents.
“I don’t think so. We’ve both had a long break and there’ll probably be an element of rust in there for us both, but it will boil down to who has prepared the hardest and who is clinical and switched on the most on the day.”
And finally, Russell gave us an update on his sides availability going into the match. “Rylan is now back in full training which is great news and Spencer is injury free too, though hasn’t trained yet so probably needs a couple more weeks. Other than that we are good to go!”
Details of todays clash are pictured below.