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Interviews

INTERVIEW: Make sure you hit it well

4 August 2014

Defender Danny Grainger on the St Mirren game

Defender Danny Grainger spoke to us about his amazing goal, settling in and looking forward to the season ahead shortly after full time on Friday evening.

“We all knew it was going to be a step up in class with St Mirren being a good SPL side,” he said. “It was always going to be hard and their formation caused us a bit of a problem for the first 15 minutes or so.

“We seemed to get to grips with it once we got going and that allowed us to impose ourselves on the game a bit more.”

“I think, looking at the game, we probably weren’t as fluid as we have been recently,” he admitted. “However, we scrapped and fought to make sure we got the win and that’s something we’ll have to do a lot of this season.

“There’ll be times when we can get the ball down and play but League Two isn’t always about football. It’s about winning the battles and we’re constantly talking about that within the group. We know it’s going to be a tough season but we also know we have the characters in the dressing room to deal with it.”

“The manager has used a few systems so far and he has said all along that he wants players who can adapt and play in different positions,” he told us. “If things aren’t going well in games we need to be able to change it, possibly without having to make substitutions. We’ve worked on different things all summer and I think we’ll now start nailing down the way we’re going to do things on Saturday when we play Luton.”

And on coming up against one of his old clubs, he said: “It’s always good to play against a former team but, when it comes to it, it’s just another game. I had a bit of banter with the St Mirren fans but that’s all part of it. It was very light hearted and I’m sure they took it the same way.

“Everyone knows I left there with a little bit of a sour taste but these things happen. It’s the way football goes sometimes. I’ve got a lot of good friends up there and I wish them all the very best for the season.”

The free kick, of course, was the highlight of the night as it streaked over the wall and into the top corner to leave the keeper with no chance.

“I think you know as soon as it’s left your boot that it’s got a chance when you strike it like that,” he said. “I was at Hearts with Kello, their goalkeeper, so I’ll be giving him a bit of stick for that one. 

“There are two or three of us who can strike a dead ball so we do practice free kicks and set pieces a few times a week. You try to make sure you hit them well but there aren’t too many which come off like that one. I won’t be getting too excited until I start doing it regularly though.”

With the last of the friendly fixtures done and dusted he confirmed that he is now more than ready to get on with the job at hand.

“This pre-season has been hard work and I just can’t wait to start now,” he said. “It’s been my first one for a couple of years, because of the knee injury, and it’s been good to be part of it.
 
“The lads have bought into what the manager is trying to achieve and I think there’s only been one or two days when we can look back and say we should have done better. We’re more than ready for next Saturday now.

“I can’t see why we won’t challenge. We’ve got goal scorers, flair players, solid defenders and a great keeper in there as well. There’s no reason why we can’t be at the top end of the league. We know what we want in that dressing room and we know exactly where we want to be at the end of the season.”

And on finally getting to play for his local professional club, he told us: “It’s great to be playing at Brunton Park. I spoke to Lewis Guy before I signed and he told me this was one of the best pitches he’s played on. It’s an absolute carpet and it does lend itself to us playing football.

“Being part of this club is something I’ve wanted for a long, long time. It’s been a dream for me to move home and play here. It’s even nicer to come into work with a smile on your face knowing that you’re wanted and that your family is close by. Everything is ticking all the boxes and I just love it at the moment.”

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