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Interviews

Kevin O'Connor: 'It’s all about the recovery now'

B Team Head Coach reflects on first defeat in Portugal

19 April 2018

Kevin O’Connor looked back positively on his team’s performance in Brentford B’s 1-0 defeat to Braga B yesterday evening. The B Team Head Coach spoke to iFollow to discuss the key aspects of the narrow match.

“I thought it was a really good test against a very good Braga team,” said Kevin. “They were slightly older than us, and they were good.

“We did okay in stages, we were a little bit off it at times and their quality on the ball showed. I think we needed this type of game, we’ve had a really good run. We needed really strong opposition and we got that today, unfortunately we just came up a tiny bit short.”

Asked about whether the older Braga team made the game different for his squad, Kevin said: “I suppose so, it’s a harder test for our boys. We’ve got to try and stand up to the physicality of it and I thought we did that well at times.

“We had to work out how they played and they caused a few problems against us, it was a challenge on the pitch to try and find the solutions. We did okay.

“We had a bit more possession in the second half but didn’t create that final big chance I was looking for.”

As a first game on the B Team’s last game of the season, Kevin expressed his happiness at the standard of the opening tie.

“Very happy. The conditions are lovely, probably too hot for me to play in but luckily I’m not. It was a really tough game, which is exactly what we need and we take that into the Porto game. Hopefully we get a better result.”

Kevin also spoke about the importance of recovering the players between the two fixtures, especially after a game in the blazing Portuguese sunshine.

“It’s massive,” he said. “We’ve got the lads here, the Physios and the Sports Scientists to do that. It’s all about the recovery now to get the body ready to go again for 90 minutes on Saturday.”

Kevin told us what he expects to see against the second side when they meet in three days.

“I want the same effort and intensity that we tried to put into the game,” he said. “Porto are going to be good on the ball, we know that and we’ll be prepared for that.

“If we can just have a little bit more creativity at the right times. It was a big pitch here and we tired in the second half, so I can’t criticise our boys too much. Hopefully we can go that one step further Saturday.”


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