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INTERVIEW: Fans were a big factor

30 December 2013

Davie Irons on the Peterborough game

Assistant manager Davie Irons gave us his reaction to the 2-1 home victory over Peterborough on Sunday.

“It must have been a heck of a game to watch,” he said. “Credit has to go to both teams because it was a really good football match. Obviously I’m biased but overall I thought we deserved to come away with the points.

“We went with a different shape and credit to the lads for the way they adapted to that. We had a real edge to our game and James Berrett and Liam Noble were picking every second ball up in the middle of the park. Lewis Guy worked his socks off up front and you could almost go through the whole team. It was just a really good game for us.

“It was great to hear that Liam [Noble] had got man of the match. He’s a real character but he was hurting when he wasn’t in the team. I told him before the game that his aim has to be to make sure he stays there now. He told me he was going to do that and he covered just about every area of the pitch. It wasn’t just him – we had some excellent individual performances and it came together to make it a good game to be involved with.”

“We were obviously very disappointed with the defeat against Preston because we felt we deserved at least a point from that,” he continued. “We reacted to that with what was a very good performance and, with a bit of luck along the way, we got the three points we felt we earned.

“It was also important for us to bounce back. I know the fans will have left on Thursday feeling disappointed but we hoped they had seen enough to know that we’re very much a work in progress. We’re trying to evolve and those who came back for this game have seen a team that has energy, ability and a real desire to win games.

“One of the things we’re trying to change is that cycle where we get so far and then we dip again. We have had one or two set backs but we have definitely improved our home form. We’ve had some really good performances on the road as well so it’s just a case of finding that consistency. I can’t speak highly enough of the group because they have come back from consecutive defeats with a vengeance in this one.”

“The formation is one we’ve tinkered with before and we talked about it and worked on it in the days leading up to the game,” he revealed. “We used it at Fleetwood but we felt we had our strongest eleven to take it on this time round. That gave us a bit of confidence because it’s a system which can give you attacking impetus if you get it right.

“When you look at the two wide areas, with Tom [Lawrence] on one side and David [Amoo] on the other, we were hoping that would bring us a lot of one on ones. That worked out and, at the other end, the back three were really solid. They gave us a platform to go and play on and we’ve come out of it with the three points.”

On going behind in the game, he said: “It was a bit of a sucker punch. It happens so many times when a team goes down to ten men but I did think the red card was very harsh. The lad was distraught when he came off and I wasn’t too sure what he’d been sent off for. They then gave themselves a huge lift by scoring a goal but Lee [Tomlin] has that in his locker. 

“That put a little bit of pressure on us, with having the extra man, and I thought the response was magnificent. We changed it around a little bit but one of the biggest factors in our favour was the fans.

“They got right behind the team and you could hear that very clearly from the stands. They drove their lads on and there was a real feeling that everyone thought we could get something.”

“We were delighted to see David [Amoo] get his goals,” he agreed. “Without being disrespectful to anyone else at the club, he’s been our star man this season. He’s had his dips in form but his return, for a wide man, has been fantastic. 

“He’s a player who has everything in his locker and he is a real threat for us. He scored two great goals and he’s a popular player in that dressing room. The goal celebrations, with everyone involved, tells you exactly how we feel at the club about David Amoo.”

“The substitutions had a positive impact and it’s one of those where you make the changes and hope they work,” he said. “Matt Robson is another off those players we’ve tried to protect but you know when he’s involved that he’s going to give you everything. That was a superb run and pass for the second goal and it shows how much playing the game means to him.”

“This was a huge three points to win,” he insisted. “The home form recently has been really good and we needed to get back to that after the Preston defeat. I’d like to think people are starting to see that the way we’re changing things is happening, even though it’s going to be a slow process. 

“If people can stick with us then I think they’ll see they’re getting real value for money. We’re becoming quite an exciting team to watch and that’s what we’ve always wanted. Our philosophy is to bring players into the team who can play football, but it’s still going to be a gradual thing because we need to change the mindset and the approach. We want to generate excitement and we think the only way to do that is to try and play the game the right way as much as we can.”

“The difference in this game was two bits of quality which have won us the points,” he told us. “We didn’t test the keeper enough on Thursday and we definitely improved on that and, of course, we got our goals. It was a very open game and that showed with the amount of chances we created.”

“The Crewe game on Wednesday is another massive one for us,” he said. “They got a good result away from home and that will give them a bit of a lift. It’s an important one in terms of where we want to get to in the league and I’m sure they will make it tough for us.”

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