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INTERVIEW: Fans were brilliant

25 November 2013

Paul Thirlwell on the Rotherham game

Midfielder Paul Thirlwell spoke to us following the away draw at Rotherham ahead of training on Monday morning. 

"We were happy with the point," he explained. "I think if we'd had 11 men for the full 90 minutes we would have been disappointed if we hadn't won the game with the way it went. 

"We did have to soak up a lot of pressure in the second half but we could have won the game with Lee Miller's shot, which Adam [Collin] saved well. It was a pleasing result overall but it definitely could have been even better."

"We did have a few scares in the first half but we went into half time feeling like we'd played very well," he admitted. "It can obviously go against you when you go down to ten men but when we came in at half time we knew we needed to carry the same level of work rate into the second half."

On the improved performance, he said: "We knew the first half on Tuesday night wasn't good enough and there were a few home truths told at half time. The second half wasn't the greatest performance against Boreham but it was certainly a lot better and we managed to get the job done. 

"We were pleased to get through and we dusted ourselves down for the game on Saturday. It did feel like we had something to prove to ourselves, and to the fans, so we're all pleased we did that."

"Conor [Townsend] had his head in his hands in the dressing room but there isn't really much you can say," he continued. "He apologised to the lads, which is enough for us, because we know he isn't the type of player to make the same mistake twice. 

"He's very mature for a 19 year old lad, on the pitch and off it, and I'm sure he'll learn from it. I haven't seen it again but at the time I did think it was two yellows. It probably didn't help that they came so close together."

And on his own recent performances, he said: "I'm just happy to be on the pitch playing as many games as I can. If I'm in the team I want to do everything I can to stay in it, and if I'm not I'll push the person who is all the way. That should be the mentality of every player, whether you're 18 or 35. 

"I can only speak for myself but I don't feel like there's any added pressure on with me being a senior player. There's a bit more responsibility as soon as you're put into the 'veteran' bracket but you have to do your job first and then try and help everybody around you. 

"In terms of work rate, the lads don't need much help because everybody puts a good shift in. Some of the younger lads can suffer with confidence and things like that so we all try and help them out when they need it."

"We all want to put on a good display for the home fans and get a positive result," he said on the Tuesday evening visit of Crewe. "We don't want the fans to expect a good result, because nothing comes easy, but we go into the game off the back of a good performance against one of the top teams in the league. If we can take that into tomorrow's game with the same levels of intensity and quality I'm sure we can get a positive result."

"The fans were brilliant on Saturday," he agreed. "There aren't many times you can come off the pitch after a 0-0 draw to a standing ovation, but I think they appreciated the effort we put in and the way we went about our jobs." 

"I'm at an age where I always get a niggle or two but I felt like I'd be able to get through the game on Saturday morning," he revealed. "I let Kav know my Achilles was fine and I was available for selection. I'm hoping I'll be fine for the Crewe game as well."  

"We keep going back to it but all we want now is some consistency," he concluded. "Every team in the country says the same thing every year, and the teams who manage it are usually the ones who end up at the top of the table. I think we're heading in the right direction at the moment and I'm sure the results will come."  

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