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Interviews

Steve Cotterill reflects on Town's Carabao Cup victory over Carlisle

9 August 2022

Interviews

Steve Cotterill reflects on Town's Carabao Cup victory over Carlisle

9 August 2022

Steve Cotterill spoke to the media after tonight's League Cup victory over Carlisle.

Goals from Luke Leahy, Daniel Udoh and Chey Dunkley saw Town clinch a place in the second round of the competition with a 3-2 win. 

The night was particularly special for Udoh who made his first start of the season following an ankle injury. 

But in what was a positive all-round display, a host of other Town players also caught the eye including Rekeil Pyke who spent the second half of last season on loan at Scunthorpe, while youngster Charlie Caton also impressed from the bench. 

Cotterill also gave an update on the fitness of forward Aiden O'Brien after he visited a specialist in London to receive an injection for a hip injury. 

ON THE PERFORMANCE AGAINST CARLISLE:

"There was lots of action. The first goal, when we went 1-0 down, was against the run of play. We had started well but that gave them a leg up. Then we started getting a little bit tight with the ball rather than relaxing. I think the goal just before half-time helped me at half-time in speaking to the players. It helped the players with their frame of mind, not coming in a goal down. 

"In this competition, as I said in the dressing room, someone will get knocked out tonight that you wouldn't see coming. That will happen, someone will get knocked out and you just hope it's not you because these games are very difficult. Carlise have started the season very well. Our start is not so good in terms of results so the quicker you get a win the better - for the lads, for their confidence. It was important for us to get that win tonight for the players, they needed it as a group of people. We all wanted it, but as a group they needed it so it was good to get that."

LEAHY’S FREE-KICK EQUALISER:

"It was a great free-kick from Luke. I'm really pleased with that. It was typical of Luke. He is a great technician and in those areas he is first class. We speak about those free-kicks a lot. If the wall isn't right, he will score. We were pleased when that went in and it helped with half time."

UDOH'S GOALSCORING RETURN:

"I am pleased for him. He has been through a lot. The physios have put in a lot of hard work behind the scenes. It's not just been Dan, the physios have worked extremely hard to try and get him back out on the field.

"It's been frustrating getting him up to speed. I don't think Dan was sharp but I didn't expect him to be. What he has done is get a good base from the game that will help him going forward. Touch wood that is the end of that issue with him and he can push on, get his sharpness and keep hitting the back of the net." 

CHEY DUNKLEY'S WINNER 

"Chey is a good lad. He has come in and fitted in really, really, well. I'm really pleased with Chey and how he is as a lad around the group. He is a leader. He is a driving force. He is one of the people who would have been a candidate to be captain but sometimes I don't think it's a good idea to give a player that's just come through the door the captaincy. 

"We already had quite a few leaders here who knew the club and I just think it's better that Chey comes in and is the leader he is but just in his own right and I think he has done that tonight. I think he will be a bit disappointed with their second goal. But I'm sure his goal made up for that a little bit. 

"Knowing him though, as honest as he is, he will be more disappointed with the second goal than he'll be pleased with scoring his goal."

REKEIL PYKE'S POSITIVE PERFORMANCE:

"His pre-season leading up to today started when he left Scunthorpe at the end of last season. He will have had two weeks rest like all the players on total shut down. Then he would have had a summer programme where he would have had to complete 18 sessions. He completed every single one of those. 

"It has benefited him no end being here, and I think the loan that he had last season didn't benefit him at all. But he is a lovely lad. I really like him. But I think last season, the loan - I'm not sure that benefited him really. When you look at the stats, he would probably have got more games if he had stayed here."

CHARLIE CATON IMPRESSED FROM THE BENCH:

"He did great, great. I thought Tom Bloxham tried very hard without too much luck in the first half. I think Charlie Caton when he went on did very well. It's all about development and picking the right times. Hopefully, we will see more of those lads in and around the squad but more importantly when we play the Papa John's Trophy games. 

"I want to see the young lads out there, I think it's a great development opportunity for the club to look at those young players in those games. I really want to do that."

AIDEN O'BRIEN INJURY UPDATE:

"Hopefully, it (O'Brien's meeting with a specialist) went well. He has had a steroid injection. He has probably seen the top guy in the UK, down in London. We have got our fingers crossed that the injection has hit the right spot. He has got four days off the grass, he can't really do anything because it has to settle down but hopefully that injection will get to the precise point and work on what Aiden is feeling. 

"It's about getting his fitness levels up. And with the staff we have to have a plan to get Aiden back because if we smash him, he might break down again and we can't do that. We have got to be very careful and get a measured plan for him if everything settles down right."

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