For us, it’s above all a question of progress

Two and a half weeks ago Steve Cooper and Vincent Kompany met for the first time as managers when we played against Nottingham Forest in the League Cup and this night they will be on the bench again at City Ground, this time in the Premier League.

Cooper has been busy since that last meeting overseeing the recruitment of new players, with a total of seven players arriving on transfer deadline day. He spoke about integrating these players and said: “It’s definitely a process, that’s for sure.

“We learned that last season. We had to go through the process of building a team and then it was pretty similar when we all got injured in the second half of the season and had to start again.

It’s definitely a balancing act when you bring in certain players, in terms of integrating them into the team, and hopefully we can get the balance right.

He added: “It’s a competitive group now, there’s strength in depth and real competition for places, that’s what we want, from the goalkeeper to the players high up the pitch.

That’s the kind of culture you want, where players have to work hard to get to the next team.”

Cooper was ready to face the Clarets again: “We didn’t cover ourselves in glory last time against Burnley and I didn’t like the performance at all, so there are always things to learn from. Sometimes the best way to learn is through bad games and difficult moments, and we certainly didn’t do well at that.

“I’m not so sure if that will have an impact on Monday. We just focus on ourselves and how we commit to the plan that we feel is the right plan for the game. If we do this, we give ourselves a good chance of achieving the desired result.”

As we had a second free weekend last week, this time for the first international break of the season,

Vincent Kompany has a wide selection to choose from and said of his internationals: “Everyone is ready to go.”

Speaking about that break and the players’ absence, he explained:

“It was still good for us because there were some who didn’t go, which meant we could spend more time working with them and maybe work more specific and individual.

We’re just at the edge where it’s still interesting. You get teams where everyone goes and you have three or four players left and you look at each other and say, what do we do now?

“That’s not where we are. We still have enough players that we can make working with the players very interesting and positive and that’s what we did last week.

Looking ahead to our first away game in the competition, he added:

“For us this season we know the challenge is big to prove we belong in this competition, but ultimately there is a bigger plan that we think we can thrive in the Premier. League.

“For us, it’s all about progress, making sure we’re improving and building the habits we need to do every day to do that.

This doesn’t happen with an outcome, whether negative or positive, but with what you do every day. It’s about repainting this painting.

He was happy with Forest’s performance in the League Cup, but said it wouldn’t be an advantage for us ahead of this game.

He joked: “That was until there were seven players at the deadline, so I don’t know.

“They did some things differently in the Carabao Cup against us, which they didn’t. haven’t done much in the Premier League. but this game is over and this one is new.

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