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ACADEMY: McLoughlin Targeting A Winning Start

U18's Gaffer Looks Ahead To His Side's Season Opener

5 August 2017

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Swindon Town U18’s Manager Alan McLoughlin wants to see the right mentality from his players at Portsmouth today.

The young Reds get their 2017/18 league campaign underway later (11am Kick-Off) and Macca is targeting a winning start.

“There is no good playing games if you don’t want to win games. I certainly never turn up to a game thinking I’ll be happy if we draw or if we lose and play well, it’s a load of rubbish,” he told

“You go into every game wanting to win it and we’ll be going down to Portsmouth to win.

“We’ve got a good mentality and it has rubbed off since last last season. I’ve seen one lapse this pre-season but the boys have had a change in their mentality since the SGS game a few weeks ago, which is good.

“If we lose honestly I’m not happy with it but I’m certainly a little bit more content than if we lose with a whimper.

“I don’t expect us to go to Portsmouth today and not turn up. They will know what system we’ll play and they will know how we want to play, so there has to be variation in what we do.

“Yes we’ll try and pass the ball at the right time but we’ll also get it in behind at the right time. We’ll also get good crosses into the box, we’ll flood the box, we’ll defend well and the art of defending is something that is sometimes neglected.

“You have to build a solid foundation at the back, whether it is four at the back or three at the back, that’s where your foundations are built and that starts with the goalkeeper.

“That’s what we’ve been working on throughout pre-season and I’m hoping as the season goes on that things improve and we become more compact, more dynamic, we get stronger and we become more of a threat.

“There are points at stake and we’ll be going down to Portsmouth looking to win.”

“You go into every game wanting to win it and we’ll be going down to Portsmouth to win."

Alan McLoughlin

McLoughlin also explained the decision to go with just one goalkeeper this season, while he also gave his verdict on his side’s pre-season campaign.

“We haven’t got another goalkeeper this season. A decision was taken to run with just one this year in order to allow the situation to develop next season,” he added.

“That is the price we’re going to have to pay in terms of if Archie Mathews does get injured then we’re going to be a little bit light.

“I have a system in place for the start of the season and I think it suits the experienced players we’ve got.

“We’ve got a very big squad of first-years who are just finding their feet and one or two have coped better than others, but others will have to become a little bit fitter, a little bit stronger and they will have to compete this year.

“But, overall, pre-season has been okay and I’m looking forward to the opening league game of the season now.”

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