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INTERVIEW: Played with a real intensity

12 August 2014

Club captain Paul Thirlwell with Derby match reaction

Club captain Paul Thirlwell gave us his reaction to the Capital One Cup game against Derby County.

"It was a tough test," he said. "Derby are a good side and I'm sure they'll be right up there this season when it comes to promotion. I thought all of the lads were magnificent because we pushed them all the way.

"They obviously got a second goal late on, when we were pushing on, but to a man everybody was absolutely outstanding. You have to hold your hands up and say they were better players than us on paper, but we set up to try and stop them playing.

"We looked to nick the ball off them and catch them on the counter attack, and we did that in the first half. We didn't manage to carve out any clear cut chances in the first half but I think they probably only had one or two."

"We played with a real intensity in the first half which the fans responded to," he added. "At the end of the game the lads got a standing ovation and I think that tells you all you need to know about the night's work."

And on the free kick which rattled the woodwork, he said: "We're always confident when Dave [Symington] gets free kicks around the box because he's got some strike on him. 

We do get at him when he tries to knock the leather off it, but we keep telling him to hit the target and he's done that very well tonight. Granty [Lee Grant] is a top shot stopper and he had to be at his best to keep that one out."

"It's a few years since I was at Derby but it's always nice to play against an old team," he confirmed. "I think we all just wanted to go out there and give the fans something to cheer about. It would have been nice for Dave's shot to go in, so Derby had to come at us, because we had dealt with them reasonably well until that point.

"We took a bit of criticism for our first half performance on Saturday, and rightly so, but we came out in the second half and put a really positive performance in. We can talk about how we want to play pretty football as much as we want but we have to start games like we did tonight and not how we did on Saturday. 

"We've now shown that we're capable of getting about a very good Derby side and causing them some problems. If we can do that in League Two we'll have a great chance of staying in games and, more importantly, of winning them." 

"There are a lot of positives to take from the game," he concluded. "The young lads all performed well and Mark Gillespie has walked back into the dressing room with a bottle of champagne.

"We know there was a huge negative at the end of last season but hopefully the fans can get right behind us and we can have a successful season together."

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