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Interviews

Pre MK Dons | Steve Cotterill

6 October 2022

Steve Cotterill spoke to the media ahead of our game against MK Dons.

Town welcome Liam Manning's side to Montgomery Waters Meadow on Saturday as they look to bounce back from a disappointing display at Cheltenham last time out.

There were mitigating factors behind that performance, with the game coming just after it had been announced that George Nurse had been ruled out of the rest of the season with an ACL injury.

Town were also without Marko Marosi at Whaddon Road with the goalkeeper absent with an injured finger, while Jordan Shipley left the group shortly before kick-off after his partner went into labour - with the couple having gone on to welcome the arrival of a baby girl.

One positive from the Cheltenham game was that Aiden O'Brien and Julien Dacosta made their returns from injury.

Cotterill was quizzed on all those issues at his pre MK Dons press conference.

ON THE WEEK FOLLOWING CHELTENHAM: 

"I wouldn’t say it’s particularly been a good week.

"It’s been a long one that’s for sure because our performance last week wasn’t anywhere near what we have shown.  It's been a long week, I would say that. 

"There was some disruption last week. I think you can have a couple of players who are off-colour. But I just think there were too many players off it last week. 

"It was the basics of the game that let us down. I know we had all those issues last week – and we’ve had a few this week – but I still think we could have performed better than we did. 

"Last week was last week, there were a few reasons but I don’t know if they were valid excuses."

ON O’BRIEN AND DACOSTA:

"It was their first minutes for a while, those two lads.

"It was nice to get them back out on the field and we will wait and see how they are for the weekend."

ON ELLIOTT BENNETT GETTING 90 MINUTES:

"He is another one that had been out for a long time.

"We are hoping with all the players that have been injured that they’ll get better and their performances will get stronger and so will their fitness. 

"When someone has five or 10 minutes or 20 minutes – whatever it is, you are always worried about when you can start them. 

"Pre-season is five or six weeks. But the minute the season starts, it’s almost as if you haven’t got those six weeks.

"Theoretically you have. But you want to try and get people out onto the pitch so you have got options. 

"What we don’t want is to have our options taken away from us because we bring them back too quickly."

ON MARKO MAROSI:

"His finger is better than it was last week. I think the next 24/48 hours are going to be big for him."

ON GEORGE NURSE: 

"When you go down and see the surgeon, there has to be a certain amount of acceptance on George’s part. 

"I think that realisation hit him when he saw the surgeon in the week. 

"What has happened with George, there needs to be a settling down period like there was with Dan Udoh. 

"There can’t be any swelling in the knee before he has the operation because that will have a knock-on effect further down the line. 

"What could be a 12-month recovery period could end up being 18 months if you operate too early. 

"It's too early to operate at this time. He will probably be pencilled in for the last week of this month. 

"And by then his knee perhaps would have settled down enough. 

"On the positive side of it, Dan went back to see the surgeon this week and he is absolutely delighted with where he is. 

"It won’t speed up his recovery. But normally they would go back for a six-week appointment – but he doesn’t need to see Dan after those six weeks. That's a real bonus. 

"It won’t help us this season but that is a positive for Dan. 

"And George is doing really well. He’s got to get some mobility back in his knee and the swelling down before the operation.

"But he is doing really, really, well he is just still getting a bit of swelling at the moment. 

"It almost feels like you are wasting a month but it’s not – you are probably gaining six months by getting it right.

"A cruciate can be nine to 12 months but if that operation happens too early, it can go to 18 months."

ON GEORGE AND DAN SUPPORTING EACH OTHER:

"If you were Dan or if you were George, you would be quite happy that you have got company and competition, even though Dan will be quite a bit ahead of George. 

"Obviously, we don’t want either of them to have the injury. But if there is a consolation – they have got each other and George has got a marker where Dan is further down the line. 

"They are both very good professionals and will be very well looked after by everyone here.  They have very much been kept part of the group."

ON MK DONS: 
"We are looking forward to the game and getting Cheltenham out of our system."

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