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INTERVIEW: I know what's expected

9 August 2013

Paul Thirlwell on the midweek game

Captain Paul Thirlwell spoke to us after the Blackburn game about his new role as a centre half on Wednesday night.

“I did enjoy it,” he said. “It was nice to be out there and the gaffer told me yesterday [Tuesday] he was going to use me at centre half. It’s a little bit different but I’ve done it a few times in training and with the reserves. 

“It’s not my natural role and it’s very different when you have to do it in a game that matters. I wouldn’t say I’m 100% comfortable with the job because I’ve been a midfielder all my career,” he continued. “However, I do feel like I understand the role and I’m probably better doing it in my twilight years, because I know a little bit more about what’s expected from it.”

“I thought the crowd were magnificent for all of us,” he agreed. “We had to go out there and give them something and the only way to do that was to get into faces, block shots and make tackles. On the back of that we managed to play some fantastic football and everyone played their part.

“It was a massive night for everyone involved with the club. It was good to show the fans that we’re ready to move on. We don’t want to keep going on about last year but that fact is that it wasn’t a good one for us. People were reminded of the worst of it in the way we lost at the weekend and we deserved the criticism we got. We probably deserve the accolades after this result.”

And on wearing the captain’s armband again, he said: “I think there’s a feeling of responsibility on the older players anyway, whether you have the armband or not. 

“It’s up to us to help the young lads as much as we can but, having said that, we get someone like Patrick Brough coming on for his debut and he looked like he’d played 100 games. It was one of those nights where it went right for everyone.

“I think the big thing was that we wanted to get out there and show a bit of pride. We all went home full of doom and gloom on Saturday and it’s only the eleven lads who went out there who can put it right. We certainly proved a point with what we did.”

“It was great watching the penalties,” he admitted. “Not for one second did I think Dave Symington would miss. I knew he’d smash it and the keeper wouldn’t see it and I think we deserved to go through. It rounded off a perfect night’s work.

“Even with Alex [Salmon], he’ll go home feeling much better because we won. When he got back to the centre circle I told him that there was a heck of a long way to go and not to worry. It’s not about individuals, it’s a team effort, and all that matters is that we won the shoot-out.”

“We go to Bradford next and that will be a cup tie atmosphere,” he said. “They could get over 20,000 people there and I’m sure we’ll take a few. If we play anything like we’ve shown we can then we should be fine.”

United Player subscribers can see a video interview with Paul Thirlwell now. Click HERE to go to the Player platform. Follow the same link for more information on United Player and to subscribe.

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