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INTERVIEW: Derby games add something

23 December 2013

Looking forward with Matt Robson

Left sided player Matt Robson spoke to us about the disappointment of the Walsall result at the weekend and about looking forward to what is a very important period.

“I think we all know we could and should have done better on Saturday,” he said. “It was a very disappointing performance when you consider the three weeks which went before. 

“Everyone thought we’d keep the momentum going so it was a difficult game for us. Credit to Walsall because they played really well. Their attacking threat was strong but we felt we were still in the game at half time, even though we’d missed a penalty. 

“They didn’t create much in the second half and it was another where it could have been different if we’d put the early chance we had away. The second goal came with about 25 minutes left to play and that knocked the stuffing out of us. It was a shame because we know we’re better than that.”

“I don’t think the performance levels were there from anyone,” he added. “None of us are happy about that because it’s cost us the points. Fortunately we have a good game on Boxing Day to bounce back with.

“We’ve been quite strong at home recently and we want that to continue. We’re still in that tight bunch in mid-table and, as we’ve seen, a win can take you up three or four places. The flip side of that is that you can drop just as quickly, so it’s important that you perform and get the results you need.”

“The way we played in the last two home games put the marker down and I think the fans who came along to watch us will have enjoyed what they saw,” he said. “That’s why it’s really disappointing that we didn’t reproduce it again at Walsall. I don’t mind admitting I was a really angry man when I was driving home on Saturday night. It’s gone now, we have to put it behind us and get a good week of training under our belts so that we can put it right.

“Preston on Boxing Day is a fantastic game to have. The crowd from both sides will be up for it and hopefully that will rub off on the lads. If we start right we can win it and the bonus is that three points will have us back up there and looking at the top half of the table again.

“Derby games always add something a bit extra to the fixture list. As a player you have to make sure you don’t get caught up in that too much and concentrate on doing your job. If you allow the atmosphere to get to you then it can affect your game. We have to treat it like any other game, but it is Christmas so it’s a bit different anyway.”

And on putting the job first through the festive period, he said: “It’s the busiest time of the year for a footballer and I think the wife has always understood that. We’ve been together for ten years now so she knows what’s expected of me. 

“We make sure I prepare properly even though I’m sure she would love a normal Christmas where we could relax and enjoy it properly. It’s just one of those things and I’m afraid it’s the way it will be until my football career is over.”

“What we have to remember is that there are nine points up for grabs between now and New Year’s day,” he said. “If results go for us then who knows where we will be? Our target is to get as many points as we can and three wins from the next three could be massive in terms of where we go from there. A good haul of points and we will be looking for a real push and a positive second half of the campaign.”

Look further ahead, to the beginning of January, and the self confessed Sunderland fan admits that the visit to the Stadium of Light is something he is particularly looking forward to.

“It was surreal watching the draw because I think the guy who was reading the information out got himself in a bit of a mess,” he said. “We knew our ball number, but he said it was Fleetwood and I wasn’t sure whether to celebrate or not. 

“Once it was confirmed I had to stop myself from shouting and cheering because the little one was fast asleep! It’s a great one for me because it gives me a chance to go back there for a second time. We lost 1-0 last time I played there but it was a fantastic day out. 

“The atmosphere will be unbelievable and our fans will enjoy it. We’re not going there just to make up numbers though. We came so close at Everton and it would be nice to put one over on a so-called bigger team. 

“I have to say that if I get a goal then there will be no holding back my celebrations. I do support them but I’ll definitely be a Blue that day. It’s your dream as a kid to play at venues like this so to get a chance to do it twice is unreal. 

“I would even say it’s right up there with playing at Wembley twice.”

United Player subscribers can see a video interview with Matt Robson 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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