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INTERVIEW: Worked very hard

3 March 2014

Chris Chantler on the Brentford game

Defender Chris Chantler spoke to us shortly after full time on Saturday following his first start since November.

"It was great to get 90 minutes," he admitted. "We had to do quite a bit of defending but I thought we dealt with everything really well. Brentford have been on a great run and they're right up at the top of the league, and when you look at their attacking threat they've got a lot of ability and goals in the team. 

"We worked on our shape yesterday and obviously I knew Robbo [Matt Robson] was injured so I knew I would be playing. I prepared well last night [Friday] and I'm pleased with my performance today. We looked solid as a team and although they had a lot of the ball I would argue that both teams had just as many chances as each other. We're happy with a point because we've all worked very hard for it."

"Kav told us not to use the injuries as an excuse," he said. "From the outside looking in it would have been easy for people to say that we had four or five players missing so we were never expected to get a result. At the end of the day there was three points up for grabs, and I think it gave some of the lads who haven't been playing a chance to show that maybe they should be when everyone is fit. 

"The whole of the bottom half of the table is very tight. If you get a few results either way you can climb right out of it or be dragged right back in. If we have a bad run we'll be right in the mix but with a couple of positive results we'll be able to look up the table rather than down. 

"We have to focus on the next game but March is a big month in terms of playing the teams that are around us. We go out and try and win every game, but at the moment Port Vale is the most important one. If we can get a few wins we'll pull ourselves right out of trouble."

"Apart from being a little bit tired I feel fine," he insisted. "Obviously I had the big ankle injury that kept me out for nine months and when I came back I still wasn't quite right. Just as that ankle was feeling good again I picked up another injury, through a stupid tackle in a reserve game on my other ankle, which set me back again. 

"Over the last two months the ankle I had surgery on feels a lot better and I feel ready to push on now. My ankle feels stronger than it has been for the last five years so hopefully I'll be injury free from now until the end of the season. 

"It felt normal to be playing. Obviously I've played here so many times now and I feel really comfortable. When you haven't played for a while you need to familiarise yourself with the game in the first ten minutes but after that you just forget about it and concentrate on your football. 

"When you're playing a team as good as Brentford you don't really get a chance to be rusty. I've been training for a while now so I still had confidence in myself even though I'd been out for a long spell. 

"It is a good feeling to be part of a good performance and a clean sheet. It's difficult when you aren't playing because people forget about you and what you can do on the pitch. 

"Hopefully I've reminded people that I am a good player after today's performance. The little doubts that were in my head are all gone now because I've played against one of the best teams in the league and been part of a good defensive performance.

"I'm a confident person anyway, I think you have to be in football, but I've proved to myself that I can still do it and there's no doubts in my mind now."

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