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INTERVIEW: Liam Kelly Previews Southend Opener

The captain previewed the opening game...

2 August 2019

Club captain Liam Kelly believes the Sky Blues are ‘ready and raring to go’ for the new campaign ahead of their curtain-raiser against Southend this weekend.

The Sky Blues will be playing for the first time at St Andrews, and Kelly believes him and his teammates are fully ready for the challenge ahead. 

“Last year, it was fantastic getting promoted via the play offs, but it left us with little time to rest and recover for the start of last season” he said.

“We were straight into pre-season again, whereas this year we’ve had a proper rest and time to reflect on the season just gone.”

“We’ve had a really good preseason and trip to Spain, we’ve put in good performances on the pitch and the new lads are all getting to know each other very well. We are all very excited for tomorrow.”

Kelly believes that the squad is good enough for a top six finish this year.

He said: “The quality in training has been apparent in preseason.

“We’ve looked really good and really competitive; training has been tough and hopefully that sets us up for this season. We can’t take steps backwards; the only way to move forwards is to finish in the play offs.”

The 29-year old, who will be embarking on his third season with the Sky Blues, is happy with how pre-season went on a personal level this time around.

He said, “We’ve had a lot of training, I’ve managed to get a lot of minutes under my belt and thankfully have managed to come through it injury free. (The new campaign) comes around quick, but it’s good that this year we’ve had a proper break.”

Kelly was keen to stress that the players are ready to perform no matter where the Sky Blues are playing.

“We can’t dwell on the fact that we’re not playing at the Ricoh.

“It happens for different reasons; Spurs played home games at Wembley recently. All of the lads have accepted it.”

“It is what it is, and we are going to have to make it our home ground for the season”, he insisted.

"There’s no excuses for us playing at Birmingham, it’s a fantastic playing surface and we are excited to begin.

“At the end of the day it’s still 11 v 11, and that is what it’ll come down to. Good performances will put players and fans in a good mood.”

He conceded that it’s difficult to know how Southend will set up on Saturday. Despite this, the Sky Blues captain is confident that City have enough about them to come through the first hurdle.

”You watch them in preseason, but line ups and formations always change”, Kelly said.

“We just need to concentrate on ourselves, and get our performance right. We have the quality in the team that if we do that I’m confident we can take three points.”


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