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INTERVIEW: Starting to feel at home here

31 December 2015

Defender David Atkinson on staying with Carlisle United

Defender David Atkinson gave us his reaction to Wednesday’s news that he’d extended his stay with the club until the summer of 2017.

“It’s a great feeling to have this sorted,” he said. “It’s been talked about for a few weeks now and it’s just been about getting it over the line. It is good to get it out of the way.

“Having the short-term deal to start with, it’s always in the back of your mind as to how that will go. You know that if you pick up one big injury it could potentially mean your career is over.

“I think it probably helped as well, to be honest, because it made sure I performed to the high standards required. I had a little hamstring niggle, which got in the way, but the feedback I’ve had from Keith [Curle] since has been really good. It just feels like this is the best place for me because it’s been fantastic for my career.”

“The manager has spoken to me and he’s said that I’ve performed well,” he continued. “He's told me to keep playing the way I have been and he wants to see me continue to improve. I think I’m getting better with every game at the moment. 

“You do get a feeling that things are going well when you get picked every week, and particularly because we’ve got such a strong squad. I always take that as a bit of a compliment.

“Coming along with the contract being sorted it shows that the manager has faith in me. I’m determined to repay that. I’ve built up a good relationship with the fans as well and it’s nice to see the comments they make on Twitter, and things like that, after a game.

“I’ve been welcomed by everyone from the day I got here. That’s been good and it makes it easier to get on with your job. I don’t think having a contract through to 2017 will mean I’ll change my approach. I got out the same for every game. I just want to play at 110% and do my best. Obviously having the deal takes a bit of pressure off and I’m definitely starting to feel at home here.”

On the feeling around the place in comparison to last season, he said: “It’s a massive difference. We’ve gone from being at the bottom to battling away at the top. There’s a real buzz about the place and it’s a completely different type of intensity. 

“There was a great feeling around training this week because we know we’re pushing for promotion. The games had been called off but we all just want to be back out there and getting points. Hopefully we can get promotion and I do think that’s a realistic target. We’ve got more than enough to get it done.

“The next step in getting something is at Ewood Park. I’ve played at Blackburn before, for the U21s at Boro, but this will be different. It’s a good stadium to play at and Plymouth don’t have anything we need to be scared of. We’ve got more than enough to beat them.”

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