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INTERVIEW: We let the club and the fans down

10 April 2015

Danny Grainger on the Accrington game

Team captain Danny Grainger gave us his thoughts on the Monday performance and the reaction needed from the players as they head into the Dagenham game.

"We let ourselves down on Monday," he said. "Not only that, but we let the club and the fans down. We all know it wasn't good enough. We had a good chat about it as a group of players after the game and we had another meeting on Wednesday. It's something we need to put right sooner rather than later.

"If we knew why we were so inconsistent we would be able to stop it. It's disappointing but we have to put it behind us because we can't feel sorry for ourselves. We need to get enough points from the next five games to make sure we stay in the Football League." 

"I do feel extra responsibility because I'm the captain and I know what this club means to people," he commented. "I've got friends and family who are fans so I've always felt really proud to wear the armband and play for the club.

"It hurts me just as much as it hurts the fans who are on the terraces, so it's up to me to help make sure the boys are ready to go on Saturday. Losing a game, whoever you're playing for, always hurts. It hurts even more now that I'm playing for the club I've supported since I was a kid." 

"Over the last few weeks my performances have dipped and I need to get that back up to where I know I can be," he said. "As part of my responsibility as captain I need to make sure the other boys are at it so everyone in the dressing room is playing at the top of their game.

"We let ourselves down as a group of players this week, there's no doubt about that. I've said from day one there's enough in the dressing room for us to be nowhere near where we are now and I'll stick by that. 

"However, we are where we are and we need to make sure we put it right in the last five games. We've said what we needed to say internally and now we need to start putting things right on the pitch."

On the post-match comments from the manager on Monday, he said: "I told him after the Accrington game there was no need to defend us. As players we put on a performance which wasn't good enough. The last two away games have been nothing short of shambolic and we need to put that right on Saturday.

"The comments after the game aren't what you want to hear as a professional, but there was no way anybody could have defended what had gone on. Everyone in that dressing room will be trying to prove people wrong and show we're better than where we are.

"When you're down at the bottom people would maybe like to see more players flying into tackles and losing their heads with each other. It can be a fine line between aggression and passion, and the game has moved on so you can't get away with one in the first five minutes. 

"I think we do need to put more aggression into our game, especially because of our league position, and we need to start getting a bit nastier with each other and with other teams."

"We haven't thrown in the towel," he insisted. "We have to take the positive out of Monday in that the teams around us didn't make up any ground. We need to make sure that our fate stays in our hands because we don't need anybody else to do us any favours. We're the ones who can go out and make sure this club stays in the Football League." 

"Nobody saw the performance against Accrington coming," he said. "We started really well against Portsmouth last Friday and we got the last minute goal which gave us all confidence.

"There's no reason why we should have turned up on Monday like we did. We had a couple of chances when we were 1-0 down, at the start of the second half, and I think if we'd taken one of them we would have gone on and comfortably won the game."

And on the attitude of the group, he said: "There aren't any players in that dressing room who don't care. We all care about our jobs as professionals, this football club and about keeping this football club in the Football League. 

"We've got five games we have to win and, if we do it, we'll stay in the Football League. The fans can really spur us on. They've helped us through a lot of games so far this season. We'll try and have the best possible start on Saturday so we give the fans something to get behind and I know they'll help to push us on."

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