Winger Nicky Adams made a welcome return to action when he got 25 minutes under his belt in the Easter Monday home game against Stevenage and he admitted afterwards that it felt like the wait to play again had been a long time in coming.
“I’ve been a bit frustrated during the last three or four weeks,” he said. “I’ve done Dolly and Lee Fearn’s heads in, to be honest, but they’ve been brilliant with me. They got me back a little bit earlier than we thought so I can only thank them for that.
“Mind you, in the first five minutes I gave it away three times, because I was a bit rusty, but after that I got back into my stride and I was doing what I do best by taking people on and getting crosses in.”
“It was good to be out there again,” he continued. “The fans were class and they gave me a big cheer when I came on. They were right behind us again and we know we shouldn’t have been behind so everyone was frustrated.
“I thought we played really well. We looked back to our old selves and when we got the goal there was only one team going to win it. We probably should have won it.”
“I’ve been horrible to be around while I’ve been injured, it has to be said,” he commented. “It was a frustrating niggle but it’s got to be taken care of. I can only thank Dolly and Lee because they’ve got me back a week earlier than I should have been.
“I’ve done everyone’s head in but I’ll probably be even worse now that I’m back on the training pitch. I just want to play football so when I’m out there I’m happy and I’ve got a smile on my face.”
The cheer which went up from the terraces when he stripped off to get ready for the substitution was one of the loudest roars of the day and it was little surprise to hear him say that it meant a lot to get that reaction from the stands.
“The reception from the fans was unbelievable,” he said. “I could hear them when I was warming up, then the roar when I came on was unreal and it does make the hairs stand up on the back of your neck.
“I think everyone knows what I’m about so when the fans do that it does give you confidence. There always seems to be an air of anticipation when I get the ball, which is nice.”
Speaking about the recent run of results, he said: “The lads are all frustrated in there but we’re still in it with three games to go. I think we’re only out of it on goal difference and anything can happen in the next three games.
“Stevenage are in the play-off places and we were the better side against them. When we’ve got our full strength squad back I fancy us, but we’ve got to get in there. Even on Monday we were still in the top seven until Blackpool scored late on. Like I say, that shows anything can happen and we need the fans right behind us to help us along, like they have been all season.
“We know we aren’t far away. We had so many chances to win the game on Monday and, again, it’s frustrating that we didn’t. I didn’t see the penalty, because I was inside getting my shin pads and things, but the lads were all going mad because they said it wasn’t in a million years.
“Reggie [Lambe] is gutted and he’s an honest lad. It’s one of those things. I think the reaction to it was good because we could easily have gone under, especially after we’d played so well in the game. It just shows what we’ve got in the dressing room. We’ve got a great set of boys and we’re disappointed we didn’t win in the end. We’ll keep positive and go again on Saturday because we’ve got three massive games now.”
“I don’t think confidence has been an issue inside the dressing room,” he insisted. “We had a bad run where we weren’t scoring goals but we were still playing some good football. It’s no good me saying that now when we weren’t winning games, but I think the confidence is coming back in everyone now.
“The lads have never stopped believing and we know we’ll be close, and hopefully we’ll be the right side of that line so we give the fans a really good end to the season. Hopefully it will be a trip to Wembley because that’s what we all want.
“It hasn’t been easy this season. I think the top three teams are all up now so you’ve got to say fair play to them. It isn’t easy to get promoted so you’ve got to take your hat off to them and congratulate them. If everyone is fit and raring to go we’re in for a right good end to the season.
“We know what we’ve got to do now, there are still some good teams involved and there’s still going to be so many twists and turns. It’s important that we take care of our business because people will slip up and we’ve got to be there to take advantage of it.”
And on the final three scheduled fixtures of the season, he said: “We’ve got three tough games coming up. Crawley is a tough place to go and they’re a good team in their own right.
“Newport are probably going to be playing for survival so that’s a very, very tough game. Exeter could be a team that we’re fighting to play in the play-offs so there are no easy games. We know what our job is now and the lads are ready.
“We’ll get back into training and I know the gaffer will have us working hard on the training pitch. He’s been great with us as well. A lot of managers could have gone mad at us but he’s been class and he’s kept the team spirit alive.
“It’s been talked about what he did with the funny clips a couple of weeks ago and that sort of thing has really kept the team spirit up. We’re all in it together and we all want to end the season on a high together.”
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