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INTERVIEW: Pulling in the same direction

27 October 2014

Defender Danny Grainger with reaction to the Oxford United game

Defender and team captain Danny Grainger gave us his reaction following the 2-1 victory over Oxford United on Saturday evening.

"It was a great way to win a game," he said. "The boys showed great character in difficult conditions. The wind made the first half tough but we dug in well. We're all delighted for Derek [Asamoah] and Mark [Beck] to get the goals. Mark does a lot of work for the team defensively because he holds the ball up well.

"We all know what we're capable of and to come back from a goal against us right on half time shows that. Their goal was a bad one for us to concede but we came out fighting and we've got players in the team who will always create chances and score for us."

"It was never going to be easy today and sometimes in this league you have to win ugly," he told us. "I thought we adapted to the conditions quite well and played the ball a bit longer than we normally would have done. We got the chances and the three points we deserved in the end.

"These are the games where it can go either way. I gave a corner away in the dying minutes and those type of things can sometimes punish you. Thankfully we were on the right end of the result and I thought it was well deserved." 

"We've got a lot of good young players at the club and apart from myself and Stephen Elliott we had a very young team out," he explained. "They're all fantastic talents. It's up to them how far they want to go in the game. I always tell them before every game that the last game they played has gone. They can only affect the next one and they all keep striding on. It's fantastic for themselves but it's fantastic for the club to be able to produce talent like that.

"The fact that we were all on the floor at full time shows how much we're giving. We're an honest bunch and we know the performance on Tuesday night could have been better. I think it's important that everybody in the dressing room is prepared to give everything to the gaffer, the team and the club. It's important we do that every week because in this league it can just take one minute and you're out of the game."

"Getting the captain's armband has always been something I've wanted to do," he admitted. "It's a dream for me to be playing for my home town team so to captain them is another level. I'm delighted but more importantly I'm delighted with the three points."

"Most teams that get a new manager in seem to get a reaction," he continued. "Some players will feel like it's a clean slate and some will feel they didn't get a fair chance under the previous manager. All of the lads are working hard all of the time, whether it's in the gym or on the training pitch. Everyone is pulling in the same direction which is massive for us.

"I've always said I'll do anything that will help the team so I was comfortable at centre back. With Courtney [Meppen-Walter] coming back in there was a bit of a tussle between us over who was going to play on the left - so after he'd begged for a while I let him do that.

"He is a fantastic talent and the sky is the limit for him. Playing alongside him is easy at times and I just try and keep him switched on with my experience. There is competition for places throughout the team which is good for all of us. We had a very strong bench today and that competition is what will move us up this league.

"I obviously wasn't at the Plymouth game but Tuesday night was disappointing. We said that the run of four games after our first three wins was going to be important for us to gauge where we can get to. We'll take every game as it comes and see where it gets us, starting with next weekend at Portsmouth." 

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