Defender Michael Raynes on the Oxford United game
Defender Michael Raynes gave us his reaction to the away draw at Oxford shortly after full time on Saturday.
“I think that was one of our best away performances of the season so far,” he said. “It was a very even game and both sides had chances. I think we created some really good openings and we could have been out of sight.
“Having said that, a point away at the home of the league leaders has to be seen as a good point. Our job was to focus on getting a good performance out of this game. That’s because for us, what we’re going through is nothing in comparison to what the people back at home are facing.
“There are people with no insurance and who have lost their homes – what do you say to people like that? We went down to help some of them and I was absolutely amazed at the amount of positivity there was. Everybody just seemed to pick themselves up, smile and do what they could to get through it.”
“At the end of the day all we do is we kick a ball for a living,” he continued. “That’s why we decided that we needed to help in any way we could. Once we got stuck into it we didn’t really want to leave, but the scale of the amount of work people had to face was unbelievable.
“If you looked up and down Warwick Road the day after everyone was allowed back in, all you could see was people digging in and helping each other. You can’t ask for more than that from your community.”
And, as the popular centre back explained, that gave the lads even more determination to do things properly.
“I think you have to focus for a game like this,” he agreed. “If you play the team at the top of the table and you aren’t in focus then you’re going to be given a sharp lesson. The lads were up for it and we could have got three points had it gone our way.
“We’ve been doing our work quietly recently and that’s the best way to be. We say it every week, but we’re going to do things our way. There’s a plan in place and we work hard every day on it. The coaching staff cover every single base for us and we’re doing what we can to be successful. We’ll get to the end of the season and we’ll see where we are.
“We’re trying to start games quickly but there are going to be times when we don’t. We’ve been looking for a bit of consistency and we’ll keep going with that. We got our equaliser at a great time by doing just that and I thought we deserved it. I don’t think we should have been behind in the first place, but there’s a determination not to get beaten these days.”
“There are some interesting times coming up, with us playing games away from home, but we won’t let that affect us,” he insisted. “We’ll prepare as we always do and, if we keep playing the way we are, I’m sure we’ll get a result. We’ve gone about it quietly and by doing it our way - and we’ve been playing some good, exciting stuff. If it carries on ... you just never know.”
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