INTERVIEW: An easy place to settle

Reece James on the Bolton game

Defender Reece James gave his best performance of pre-season so far against Bolton on Tuesday night and we caught up with him at full time to get some immediate reaction.

“I was enjoying the summer until the rain started,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve ever played in anything like that before!

“It’s been a brilliant experience for me with Carlisle United though. Playing against teams like Bolton and Burnley can only ever do me good.”

“I made that error in the first minute against Bolton and it does stick in the head for a little while,” he admitted. “All you can do is try and get on the ball again and keep it simple so that you can clear your thoughts. You can then feel the confidence come back and you just get on with it.”

“The level of football we’re playing here is a lot more physical than it is with the Development squad at Old Trafford,” he admitted. “The pace is quicker and I think the standard is better. The movement is constant and you don’t get the amount of time on the ball I thought you would. 

“You get pressed almost as soon as you get it so you have to be able to adjust the way you do things and make sure you deal with it.”

“I thought we were a lot better defensively against Bolton than we were on Saturday,” he continued. “We were a lot more compact and everyone worked hard to stay together. I think we saw how good the team spirit is and we looked a decent side.”

“I’m really enjoying the partnership with Robbo [Matt Robson] on the left,” he told us. “He’s a good lad both on and off the pitch and hopefully we will just keep getting better and better. 

“He’s been at left back himself so he is always talking to me and helping me. If I get further up the field he drops back into my slot to cover me so it’s been really good for both of us.

“The two senior centre backs are talking to me all the time as well. Mike [Edwards] is onto me constantly but it’s all positive and good advice. I feel like I’m learning a lot more about the defensive side of the game and I think I’m growing into the fact that I need to be more controlled and aggressive in the way I tackle. I’ve been pleased with my performances but I do feel that I can still do a lot more.”

“The fans have been brilliant for me,” he said. “When you have them cheering everything you do and shouting your name it’s unbelievable. I’ve found it an easy place to settle and the lads have welcomed me into their group. We get on really well on the training pitch and in the club house, so that has helped a lot.”

“The season is just round the corner but I’m not feeling too many nerves about it,” he insisted. “To be honest, I was more nervous about the Burnley game because that’s where I’m from. 

“My dad is a season ticket holder there so it was split loyalty for him. I think the fact I was playing for Carlisle won him over to our side - for the day at least. 

“I think we can take a lot of confidence from what we’ve done,” he concluded. “We felt we had something to prove after Saturday because we conceded some poor goals. We worked a lot on shape and defensive responsibilities on Monday and Tuesday and it was good for us to put it right.” 

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