Manchester Futsal Club travel to London Baku United on Sunday (7th May) in the first leg of their FA Futsal Play offs. Interim Head Coach Sam Richardson spoke to us ahead of the game.
Sam confirmed that there are no major injury concerns going into this Sundays game, so will have a full squad at his disposal.
Speaking in regards to training and preparation, “We’ve not done too much different to be honest, as we have had relatively limited time to make adjustment. We’ve tried to focus on the main areas we wanted to tweak. With the London Baku United games coming up we tried to cover a few more details that might relate more specifically to how they might play.”
He went on to add, “Both teams aren't overly familiar with each other at present, we can watch videos but when it comes to actually playing the game it’s totally different. We haven’t played each other for a while now, so preparation is more about focusing on the things we can do.”
Sam feels it will be important to draw on past experiences when it comes to managing the tie. “As far as progressing, getting the positive result from this Sunday is key, however managing the game as best we can is probably more important as there is a second leg.”
Sam continued,”In the past we have had a couple of similar situations - especially in Grand Finals and Play Off scenarios - where we have played a game and seen it as an isolated game, without evaluating how it will effect the overall picture. Then in hindsight we have realised we have perhaps been too naive and it’s affected the grand scheme of things. I hope we can avoid a repeat of this and make smarter decisions.”
Sam also gave a nod to the role the fans can play in the return leg (Sunday 14th May 4pm KO @ Belle Vue), “On top of that, playing at home in the second leg gives us a slight advantage over us playing away, simply as we’ll have the support backing us and we know the court better.”
Finally, Sam spoke of Manchester’s chances of lifting the FA Futsal Cup, “It depends how we perform on the day. I believe in our squad and our ability to compete with any other team. However, most teams are quite closely matched at present, so it will come down to what we do on the day as a collective.”
He then gave his thoughts on what is needed to win this competition, “I’d expect the most consistent performer and settled squad, mixed with a bit of luck will see a team edge it. So there is absolutely no reason why this can’t be us. I put our chances up there as any high as any others, but it’s up to us to step up and deliver the performances.”
The return leg will take place at Belle Vue Sports Complex on Sunday 14th May 4:00pm kick off. Tickets are priced at £5 for adults, £2.50 for students and £1 for under 16s. A family ticket for 2 adults and 2 under 16s can be purchased for £10. Buy your tickets online here.