David Longwell spoke to the media ahead of tomorrow’s trip up to the Stadium of Light to face Sunderland.
As a first-team coach and director of Shrewsbury’s academy, Longwell bridges the gap between the first team and the academy and recently got the academy on the Montgomery Waters Meadow pitch in front of Shrewsbury Town Chairman, Roland Wycherley, and First Team Manager, Steve Cotterill.
Longwell discussed that event, tomorrow’s fixture, Sunderland’s Manager Alex Neil, and our January signing from Sunderland, Tom Flanagan, in the pre-match press conference.
On the game:
“I’m looking forward to it. When you go to somewhere like Sunderland which is obviously a big club with a lot of history, you’re always looking forward to going. It’s a long journey but yeah, we’re looking forward to it and we’re in good form with decent momentum, there will be a decent crowd, they’re a big club, and you want to go and play them.
“With it being a Bank Holiday, they might be expecting more people to come and hopefully there will be and we’ll try to use the crowd to our advantage and they’ll use it to theirs but we’ll go there and obviously try to do well and win the game.”
On Alex Neil:
“There are definitely differences [now Alex Neil is in charge]. Alex has a good reputation from being at Hamilton before and at Norwich and Preston, so we know what his teams are like and we know that he’s gone in there and made a difference to them. Alex has had a good career as a manager and he’s still young but he’s gone into Sunderland and definitely made an impact so we know what to expect from that.”
On Tom Flanagan:
“He can give you an idea of their players potentially but obviously there’s a new manager now so things have changed since he was there with Lee Johnson. Every manager is different in terms of how they want to play and what they want to do and the preparation might have changed so he can give us an insight into some of the players, but not much into how they might play just because it’s a new manager with a new idea.
“He’s settled in really well and you can see that in his performances. He’s come into that left centre-back spot and played really well and he’s been in at central centre-back recently as well. He’s been a professional for a long time so that transition is easy and he’s got that experience but yeah, he’s fitted in really well.”
On the academy playing at Montgomery Waters Meadow recently:
“That was great! Usually, we try and get the lads to play in the stadium so we can see how they handle it and to see if they can progress towards the first team. We’ve got a really good relationship with Burton to be fair, so they came to give us a game and it was a great night. It was good for the Chairman to see the players and see what his investment in the academy brings through and more importantly for me, it’s good to get the manager to see them play because it’s hard for him to see them with the schedule but he got to see them and they did well.”