Liam Noble on last season and pushing on
Midfielder Liam Noble spoke to us today about the determination in the dressing room to get things right following what as a disappointing campaign last time round.
“It was a difficult season all round and, at times, it was hard to see where our next win was coming from,” he admitted.
“We went on a decent run towards the end of the season and that just shows what we can do. Hopefully we can pick up from where we left off when we kick off again in August.”
“There's a determination within the group to have a much better go than last season,” he said.
“I think the pre-season friendlies we've got will help us to prepare and we should see what kind of level we're at once we've played them.
“Hopefully after that we can get the season off to a good start because we all want to bring the fans back. We've got Bolton and Burnley coming up here, and they should both be good tests for us, and they’ll give us a good indication of where we are. The games against the local sides are always enjoyable so it should all good stuff when you add the fact that we’ll have some new faces in the squad as well.”
“It's definitely exciting as we all wait to see which players the gaffer is going to bring in,” he told us. “I always check the website to see what's going on and it’ll be interesting to see who it is.
“It's been strange to see some of the lads who have been here throughout all of my time here move on, but that's part and parcel of the game. They're all great lads and I'm sure they'll all do well wherever they go next.”
One of the positives to come out of last season, of course, was the experience gained – particularly for the younger members of the squad.
“I’d say all of the young lads learned a lot last season which hopefully stands us in good stead for seasons to come,” he confirmed. “Obviously everybody hopes we aren't in that sort of position again but, if we are, I think we'll all be able to handle it a little bit better.
“The senior lads like Danny [Livesey] and Sean [O'Hanlon] help us with that sort of thing as well, and I think we'll have a good mix of players next season.
“We had situations like in the game against Oldham, towards the end of last season, where we battered them in the first half but we let them get on top after the break. The older lads who were playing in that game talked us all through that one and kept us going, and that sort of thing always helps.
“Sometimes you need some voices to tell you what you’re doing right and what you’re going to need to do to get through it out on the pitch, and we have two or three who are really good at doing that.”
“We want more of the same team effort next season,” he added. “Apart from the last two games we put a very good run together, in my opinion, and we all want to do that at the start of the season to give everybody a lift. We went to Doncaster and Sheffield United and put in two good performances and hopefully we can kick off the season in that way.”
In terms of getting ready, he said: “I've been away on holiday and we went to Blackpool with the kids as well, last weekend, but I'll be starting my running again now to make sure I'm ready for pre-season.
“I am naturally quite fit but I still like to do two or three runs a week to keep myself ticking over. I think it's important to have some time off during the summer because it’s a long hard season, but I'm ready to go again now.
“The fixture list coming out this week was exciting because it gives you something to focus on. We've got some big teams in the league and we've shown in the past that we can give them some good games, so we're all looking forward to that.”
for part two of this interview.