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INTERVIEW: Fighting as hard as we can

27 March 2014

Sean O'Hanlon on the Shrewsbury game

Defender Sean O'Hanlon spoke to us about the Shrewsbury game and the task ahead as the training sessions gear up towards the important trip to Tranmere at the weekend. 

"We created a lot of chances on Tuesday night so it is disappointing that we didn't get the win," he said. "The good thing was that we needed a reaction after Saturday's game and I think we got that. The performance was good but we just couldn't round it off with a goal.

"When you look at the result overall it was a good one because we haven't lost any ground. Defensively the clean sheet was very important because we've been leaking goals. We obviously changed the system, which does take a little bit of getting used to, but it is something we've done a bit this season. The manager looks at the players he's got available then decides the best way for us to play. I thought we adapted to the back three well and it was effective."

And on going forward, he said: "We have to keep focusing on taking the positives out of games. Saturday was probably one of the worst days since I've been at the club, so to bounce back like we did and get a clean sheet is very pleasing. 

"You usually say that, if we keep a clean sheet, we'll usually go up the other end and nick a goal. Unfortunately that wasn't to be on Tuesday."

O'Hanlon's return to fitness earned him a recall as team captain for the visit of the Shrews and he admitted that it's a role which brings added responsibility.

"I'm a senior player so I've got to lead by example anyway, but there is a little bit more responsibility when you're the captain," he explained. "I try to talk to the younger players as much as I can. I think we can all take a lot of confidence out of the game.

"Dave Symington had a good game which will have done him the world of good. The back three and the goalkeeper have kept a clean sheet so there are plenty of positives for us to take out of it. 

"We haven't picked up many points against the teams around us but we always seem to do well against the teams who are in the top half of the table. The games against teams who haven't really got anything to play for could be the games where we pick up wins."

"Tranmere is a big game but the most important thing for us is to make sure we don't lose," he said. "Even a point won't be a bad result because we then start playing the so-called better teams who we usually get results against. 

"The three home games are probably where we'll feel the most under pressure but I think you just have to focus on yourself. I think we've got more than enough in that dressing room to make sure we get out of it. 

"You can never really switch off when you're in a situation like this but we were in the bottom four when Kav took over, we got ourselves out of it and we've only dropped back in after Saturday's game. The teams who have been in it for a long period have been playing with a huge amount of pressure on them for that period of time. 

"Now that we've dropped back into it we obviously need to pick up some wins and that will hopefully start on Saturday. We also have a game in hand on the majority of teams around us which gives us another chance of picking up three points."

"Personal pride does have to come into it as well," he insisted. "Nobody wants a relegation on their CV and it can really affect your career, because it takes a long time to get over it. I think it's important that everyone at the club realises that. 

"We're all confident and we've got good spirit in the dressing room. The quality is there and we're all fighting as hard as we can."

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