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WATCH | McCann reflects on friendly win over Port Vale

29 July 2023

Interviews

WATCH | McCann reflects on friendly win over Port Vale

29 July 2023

Grant McCann admitted he needed to remind his players that taking it easy in the final game of pre-season would not be acceptable as Rovers gear up for the start of the new campaign.

McCann was unhappy with the performance in the first half of the friendly against Port Vale but was delighted with the uplift in the second half, which included the winning goal netted by George Broadbent.

"It was probably a tale of two halves," McCann said. "I thought the lads were a little bit pedestrian in the first half and I said to them at half time that they needed to move more, particularly from goal kicks and we were a bit flat in terms of our movement.

"We just weren't quite there with the aggression we showed against Sheffield Wednesday. We were getting to the ball but we weren't winning the ball and letting people drift past us.

"I spoke to the boys about it at half time and said they needed to raise it. They couldn't go from the high of the press, energy and release on Tuesday night to being a bit passive.

"I felt we were much better in the second half and the energy was vastly improved. It was a gentle reminder we need to give the group. We saw it for 45 minutes in this one but we saw it for 180 minutes across the games on Tuesday against Middlesbrough and Sheffield Wednesday.

"We can't drop below those standards now. I said to them if they were in there worried about getting injured before next week or trying to save their legs, they wouldn't be playing next week. They need to be at their maximum every time they play a game - whether it's a friendly or a league game."

To hear McCann's thoughts on the game and assessment of pre-season as a whole, click play on the video.


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