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INTERVIEW: The crowd got behind us

2 February 2015

Danny Grainger on the Mansfield Town victory

Danny Grainger spoke to us following the important victory over Mansfield Town shortly after full time on Saturday.

"It's a big result," he said. "Especially when you look at the results of the teams around us. First and foremost it was what we needed. Confidence has always been there but this showed there's a real belief we can do something special.

"There are a lot of things going on at the moment that we're trying to put to the back of our mind, so it was an important result for us as a bunch of lads, and for the club. I haven't paid a lot of attention to it because we've got a massive few months coming up and the main objective is to keep this team in the Football League. We got back in the dressing room and saw that most of the teams around us had picked up points, but we've still managed to climb a few positions."

"We showed against Wimbledon, and again today, that we aren't going to roll over for anybody anymore," he insisted. "We were maybe a bit of a soft touch at the start of the season and it's something we've developed in our game in the last ten games or so. We are no longer a soft touch, even if we do go a goal down.

"We were unlucky to go behind in this one. I don't think Mark [Gillespie] had a save to make in the first half. I thought the goal was offside but, with the rules the way they are - I'm not sure if anybody actually knows them - so it was a difficult one." 

"You have to look at the way the boys responded," he commented. "We got a corner from the kick off in the second half which gave everyone a lift. The crowd got behind us after that and we started putting them under a lot of pressure.

"You can sometimes start to think it's a case of 'here we go again' because, when you're down at the bottom, things seem to go against you. You can get a bit sick of it, but the dressing room isn't going to roll over. Some weeks it will be pretty and some weeks we will have to roll our sleeves up. We showed today we can do both sides of it." 

"The decisions from the referee might have helped us in a way," he told us. "The big one was Charlie [Wyke] and the penalty. He got wiped out by the goalkeeper but the ref gave a corner. As we were turning away he actually said to me that he'd got the decision wrong and it should have been a goal kick. 

"If he hadn't got a touch then surely it should have been a penalty, but these things level themselves out over the season. The lads were saying that Troy might have been a yard offside for our first goal, so I'm sure we'll get our fair share of decisions."

"Griff [Anthony Griffith] and Courtney [Meppen-Walter] were great for us today," he said. "Kyle [Dempsey] was different class in the second half and he was very influential. I don't think you can pick anybody out and say they had a lesser game than anyone else. The whole team stood up and worked hard for each other." 

On the team getting another goal from a set piece, he said: "We work hard on set pieces every Friday. Defensively we all know our jobs and I think Newport at home was the last time we conceded from a set piece. We try and change it up when we're on the attack. The gaffer puts a lot of belief in us to try things that maybe wouldn't work in other dressing rooms.

"Kyle's corner when I was in the centre circle took everybody, including me, by surprise! It is something that we've worked on but it just didn't quite come off as we'd planned. It was supposed to come to me for a shot, but it ended up going back to Kyle. He was able to shoot and it looked like we'd planned it all along. 

"Although it didn't come off things like that can catch people out, and as we were running back their striker asked me what on earth had just gone on. Sometimes if you do something extreme you can catch them off guard." 



"It was nice to get an assist," he admitted. "I was actually running towards the linesman because I thought it was a handball and we'd been denied another penalty. I was going to have a word with him then I realised we'd scored. 

"Every goal is special for me, whether I score or somebody else does. I see how hard the lads work in training so I'm always absolutely buzzing when we get the rewards for that on a Saturday. I'll try and claim the assist but someone has already told me I can't have it because of the flick on!"

"It's massive for us to get out of the bottom two," he commented. "When you look at the last few games we've been pulling some real battling performances together. We were all very disappointed with the Cambridge home game because we dominated it and came away with nothing. 

"We picked up three points through a battling performance at Wimbledon and we were very close to picking up a point at Bury, which is a hard place to go. There are a lot of ifs and buts throughout the season which would have changed our position. We are where we are, we're starting to climb the table and we need to pick up another result next week, because we've got a hard run of games after that."

"A win against a team who are in and around us will give everybody a big lift," he told us. "We said before the game that there's extra pressure on us ahead of games like that, because of league positions and the way they played against us down there. We said it against Cambridge, they might have thought they could come up here and not have to work hard because they hammered us in the first game." 

 "The fans were behind us from the first whistle today which is all we can ask," he said. "Like I said, there are other things going on in the background which we can't influence. We can influence what's happening on the pitch and every time the crowd gets behind us we always get a good response. 

"When they create an atmosphere it really does help us. All we can do is keep trying to pick up results and hopefully they'll keep getting behind us.

"We've got another important game next week. Everybody seems to be picking up a bit of momentum. We're churning out some good performances without getting all of the rewards we deserve. The performances are the main thing and it will be interesting to see what happens when the teams which haven't been in this situation are dragged into it.

"No one is out of it yet. The teams all the way up to ninth place could still be dragged into a relegation battle, which is a crazy thing to say. We've got to make sure that come the last day of the season we are well away from it."

On his ankle injury, he said: "I only trained once last week because of my ankle. I was going to train a little bit on Thursday, but it was inside because of the weather and I couldn't get involved. I did some training on Friday, and it is sore now, so it's something I'm just going to have to monitor over the next few weeks. I just want to get through games which is the main thing."

"I don't feel as if my role has changed since I became captain," he added. "I've always been somebody who tries to get the team fired up. There's more responsibility if something goes wrong but I'm more than willing to take the heat.

"Results and performances breed confidence. We've got a lot of talent in that dressing room and I'm very surprised about the position we're in. We're starting to do the horrible side of the game. We should have been doing it from the start of the season, but we didn't and we've got to put it right.

"We've realised we don't have to be nice guys around each other. We can tell each other what's and that's how it should be. If we aren't winning we know there's a reason for it, but we will now point out what that is." 

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