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Club News

John Answers Your Questions

11 May 2016

New man on his plans for the first team.

John McGreal was confirmed as the U's new First Team Coach last week as the club continue to shape their plans for next season.

John will take on the responsibility of guiding the U's first team next season as we look to push for promotion back out of League Two.

After speaking to the media on Wednesday, John took the time to answer YOUR questions as he looks forward to getting to know those making the noise on the terraces.

What are your plans around summer recruitment, both in retaining current players and attracting new ones?
Tim Longbridge, Stanway
This is something I will be looking at in some detail over the next couple of weeks. We’ll be looking at the players we have here that are in and out of contract and seeing where we think we need to strengthen for next season.

We need some fresh faces in the squad and I am looking in all areas to bring in that experience we need to blend with the young players we have here at the club. I would like to do some business early and ensure we have the players we need to give it a real good go next season.

The team has conceded a lot of goals this season – as a former centre half, how do you plan to address that?
Peter Burton, Tiptree
First and foremost I want to win games of football. I think getting a couple of clean sheets early on will breed that belief and give us the confidence to go forward. We will of course touch on it with the lads and in training because it is certainly something that needs to be addressed, but I think it's generally more about how we approach games and everything else will follow from there.

How much pride do you take in seeing your U21s progress into senior football?
Richard Gooday, Long Melford
I have taken immense pride in their development over the past couple of years. They are good players and they deserve the opportunities that they have had so far. We have brought up a certain type of player and character through the club and the next step for the lads who have had a taste of first team football is to get there on a regular basis and hopefully they can progress in the next couple of years.

You had a long career in football, who do you turn to for advice when discussing football?
Bobby Cooper, Colchester
I am very fortunate to have many good friends throughout the game, so I am sure I will be picking up the phone to give them a call over the coming months. I am close to Tony Mowbray and Steve Cotterill and George Burley was my manager at Ipswich, so I will no doubt be speak to him from time to time for advice. They're all good people and I know I can trust what they tell me.

How important are the fans to you and the team when things get going next season?
Tim Stone, Brightlingsea
They are hugely important to me. To get the momentum for a successful team, you need to play a certain way to excite the fans and get them right behind you. They have been with us even over the last couple of season when things haven't been going our way, but once we get a winning habit, particularly at home, I am certain our fans will be heard even more.

Will we play 4-4-2 or new formations on occasion?
I think we will have different personnel who can play in different positions and that will change how we attack at times. I will try and bring on what Kevin and Tony have done with the team, but I have got my own way of playing and how I want to take games, whilst keeping in mind the club philosophy.

What is the division of responsibilities between yourself and Tony Humes?
Tony will continue to look after things like player contracts and other team matters, whilst I will be doing the coaching and spending time out on the training ground with the players. I will also be making the team selections and decisions that are needed on a matchday during the course of a game.

What skills do you feel you can bring to the first team?
I've played for a long time in football and been involved in the game for many years, but I am keen to bring that winning habit back into the club.

I think it's important to stress it's not just about me, but everyone in and around the club and that's the fans and the press as part of that too. I want everyone to continue to work together and get back to being successful.

What are your targets for next season?
I want to give it a real good go. As I've said, I am keen to get that winning habit and get that positivity right from the start. It's going to be a tough league, but I am confident that we will do well in it.

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