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INTERVIEW: Really enjoyed my time here

9 January 2014

Greg Fleming on the season so far

Goalkeeper Greg Fleming spoke to University of Cumbria Journalism student Jak Harris about the Sunderland game and his season so far.

"Sunderland was very enjoyable," he said. "We had a huge number of fans there, who really got behind us throughout the game, and that helped us massively. 

"I did expect a busy day because we were playing against a Premier League team. We were obviously the underdog so I was prepared for having a lot to do. I thought we dealt with it well overall."

"I've played at Ibrox a couple of times, and I've been on the bench at Park Head, so the experience wasn't all that new for me," he added. "I haven't played in front of that sort of crowd for a while so it was great to come out and see our section of the ground completely full. I think it's something the lads will remember for a long time. 

"I thought all of the lads played really well. We kept ourselves in the game until the last five minutes or so and Robbo [Matt Robson] obviously got the goal just after they'd scored. 

"I think if we'd been able to keep it at 1-1 for the first 20 minutes of the second half their fans might have started to turn on them a bit. That would have given us a lift, and you never know what might have happened, but we got really unlucky just after half time with the own goal. That took the pressure off them straight away.

"If that slice of luck had went our way then they would have really had to come at us but there was no reason we wouldn't have been able to withstand the pressure. We did well to keep ourselves in the game after that but I think the own goal knocked the stuffing out of us all a little bit. They obviously got their third goal when we were pushing forward but we had to go for it and we never gave up."

"I did make a couple of decent saves," he agreed. "The one with Altidore in the first half was important because I think if they'd scored it would have really settled them down. We didn't let our heads drop after their goal and Robbo got ours at the perfect time really. It gave us a real lift going into half time. 

"The free kick was a great hit and I suppose it just shows what £10 million can buy you. Adam Johnson is a great player but I wasn't sure if him or Larsson would take it. I think we've all seen over the last couple of years that Larsson is excellent on set pieces so that meant I had to prepare as if both of them were going to have a go. To be fair, Johnson put it over the wall and right into the corner. Sometimes you've just got to accept that it was a great goal."

On the own goal, he said: "As soon as the ball hit Sean [O'Hanlon] I was worried because there was loads of spin on it. I was just praying it was going to hit the post because that was the sort of direction it was heading. Unfortunately those things happen and it was just disappointing that it was so early in the second half."

Looking at the season as a whole, he told us: "It has been strange. It's been great being able to play in the cup games but I'm no different from anybody else. I want to be playing every game. 

"Obviously when Mark [Gillespie] was fit he was playing really well and I don't think it would have been fair to drop him. There was just no reason for it. Then Ben [Amos] came in and played well so it was just one of those things. I've kept my head down in training and worked hard through it all. 

"I'm not the type to knock on the manager's door and demand to play because I think that sets you up for a fall. I'd rather work hard in training so I can make sure when I do get an opportunity that I'm ready to take it. 

"It's difficult to keep yourself ready when you know you aren't going to be playing for a few games but Caigy [Tony Caig] helps out massively with that during training. If I ever want to do anything extra it's never a problem for him to stay and help me out."

"Obviously Ben has gone back to Manchester United now so hopefully I will get my chance in the league," he said. "It would be nice to get a good run of games because I'm still on the month to month contract. I've really enjoyed my time here so far. We've got a great set of lads and it's a good place to be.

"Leyton Orient will be another difficult game because they're flying in the league. I think if we show the same intensity and determination that we did on Sunday then we'll all be going there expecting to get something out of the game. Hopefully that's what we'll do."

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