Gary Waddock Previews Portsmouth Clash

Assistant Head Coach Gary Waddock sat down with local media on Monday morning prior to the U’s Papa John’s Trophy Round of 16 clash against Portsmouth on Tuesday (11th Jan)…

On the atmosphere withing camp after Saturday:

“The lads were in good form, we stayed around the dressing room for quite some time after the game as the lads wanted to soak everything up and they wanted to remember everything. It certainly made the journey home sweeter!

“It was hard to believe really [at the time], so the players, to take it in, kept going back out after the game to see the fans and the stadium. It was a fantastic occasion for everybody, and the players really enjoyed.

“Just to celebrate with the supporters on the actual day was incredible. Last year was a fantastic achievement, but we were not able to do it with the support in the ground.

“What a fantastic turnout and what an atmosphere! To play in front of that and then celebrate with our support – It was just a great day all round.”

On Portsmouth:

“We think they will arrive with a strong squad on Tuesday, they have got good squad of players down there, so we expect it to be a tough game.

“Portsmouth are still relatively fresh in our minds. It was only last Monday we played each other, so it makes it a little easier planning for Tuesday evening. We do not know what their team will be, but we know their style of play.

“Obviously, everyone is on a massive high from the weekend, but we have to have our feet firmly on the ground. It was a great result for us, but we must look at the bigger picture going forward.

“We have got a big game on Tuesday and then against Lincoln in the league on Saturday, which is a massive game, so we have to put that to bed. The focus is now on Tuesday night.”

Team News:

“With the efforts of the players on Saturday and being on such a high, it is important that everybody feels part of it, and I think there will be some changes tomorrow evening.

“We expect that some of the lads that are on the bench, as well as the younger players to get some game time. I am sure there will be some changes for Tuesday night's game

“Kai [McKenzie-Lyle] picked up an injury towards the end of last week, so that that was the reason behind the decision of leaving him out on Saturday.

“Will Mannion will be back in the mix. We wanted him to get some more game time under his belt and that is what happened so it will be good to have him back.

“Jensen [Weir] also picked up a slight knock in training, hopefully he is not so long out of the picture.

“It is great that Liam [O’Neil] is back in and around the dressing room. He is an important member of the group. He needs to get some game time; whether the game on Tuesday is too early for him to start is another matter, we will have to just see how he goes in training today.”