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INTERVIEW: I could see I was in

29 August 2015

Striker Derek Asamoah on his goal and assist at QPR

Striker Derek Asamoah spoke to us about his goal and his match winning assist against QPR on Tuesday evening.

"Tuesday was a very good performance by everyone," he said. "We went into it as underdogs but we didn’t feel that way. We knew that we'd been playing well and we're starting to gel, so we felt we could cause an upset.

"There's always nerves before every game, whether it's against QPR or Cambridge. There's always a chance of progressing, especially in a cup game, so there's that extra buzz because anything can happen." 

"We definitely deserved to win," he told us. "We came out fighting in the second half. They scored at a crucial time, which should have given them a lift, but we countered it and managed to get the upper hand. We had quite a few chances, we hit the bar and we had one cleared off the line.

"It was a good game to play in and hopefully it will give us a platform to push on from."

On his own performance, in the lone striker role, he said: "I don't know why but I do like playing up front on my own. 

"A lot of people prefer playing with a partner because it means you share the workload, but I know I'm capable of playing with someone, or playing on my own, so I don't mind. 

"I know I'm capable of doing both and I like to think I've got good energy levels. It suits me to play up top alone because it means I have more space to run into. I managed to show my pace and cause them a lot of problems."

Speaking about his first goal of the season, he said: "When I saw Sweens [Antony Sweeney] get into the box all I was thinking was 'why didn't he go down?' 

"Then I saw the position he was in and I just went 'oh, Sweens!' because I could see I was in. He looked up and the pass was brilliant from him. A lot of players, including myself, wouldn't have seen that pass because they would have gone for goal.

"When he gave it back to me I didn't even see the keeper. I just saw a gap and I knew if I placed it low and hard it had a good chance. It needed to go through the bodies and thankfully it did.

"Everyone is comfortable on the ball and no one shys away from a pass. There was a lot of passing in the lead up to the goal and you could tell we were comfortable with it because we moved it about well. We eventually saw the gap and it was a lovely ball from Michael Raynes into Angelo Balanta."

"To concede so soon after we'd scored was disheartening and I thought we could have defended it a bit better," he admitted. "It's always a dangerous moment when you've just scored because everyone is more relaxed. They caught us off guard a little bit.

"We showed a lot of determination and spirit to make sure our heads didn't go down. From there a lot of people will have fancied QPR to go on and win the game but we showed a lot of courage to go on and get the win. 

"It was good to be part of the winning goal. When Patrick [Brough] won the ball I knew their defence wouldn't be ready. We talk about transitions in play, when you take the ball off the other team they're unsettled, so that's the time to really attack. 

"As soon as we won possession I knew their back line would be out of formation so I knew I needed to turn. I knew I could beat the defender for pace so I just tried to get the ball as far away from him as possible. 

"I was heading for the goal and I was thinking about waiting for the defender to make the tackle. If he did that I was going to cut back inside and get my shot off. I saw Jason [Kennedy] making an amazing run and I knew if I hit it across goal he would get there and he would have a tap in.

"To score in front of our travelling fans was a great moment. We all ran over to them and it was a great feeling. The atmosphere in that corner was electric."

And on the third round draw against the Anfield giants, he said: "I used to be a big Liverpool fan but I just enjoy football now. 

"The draw is amazing, they're one of the biggest teams in England and they've been very successful in Europe, so to play against them at Anfield is a great opportunity. Most of my friends are Liverpool fans so I've had a lot of requests for tickets already!

"We need to concentrate on the league at the moment though. We've been playing well and creating a lot of chances and it's only a matter of time before the victories start rolling in. I'm very confident that the first win will come sooner rather than later." 

"I'm really enjoying my football here," he concluded. "I don't know why that is. It's a long way from home and that means I have to really concentrate on my football. 

"It's very relaxing here and we've brought in some intelligent players. They're not just good on the ball, they're very aware of how we want to play and how I like to play. I feel confident that as the season goes on we're going to get stronger and stronger."

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