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INTERVIEW: You try to get decent contact

22 January 2015

Defender Sean O'Hanlon on the Wimbledon game and his goal

Defender Sean O’Hanlon spoke to us about the importance of last weekend’s win at Wimbledon as the preparations for the away trip to Bury gather pace.

“It was a good performance and good for us to do it on the road,” he said. “We obviously travel a lot and it’s a great feeling on the way back when you’ve had a win. It makes looking at the league table a bit more enjoyable as well.

“It was a tough game and they put us under a lot of pressure at times. It’s one of those where you come off the pitch feeling absolutely done in. You’ve given 100% and it’s good to get rewarded for it. The reason we all play the game is to get those three points.”

“The way their goal went in was really tough because those things seem to happen more often than not when you’re down at the bottom,” he told us. “You do start to think – here we go again – but I don’t think we’ve really crumbled as badly this season as we did last year. We’ve conceded first in recent weeks. but the second goal hasn’t followed right away as a matter of course.

“It was a bad start but we knew we’d done the work and prepared well. We’d done a lot on set pieces and we knew we still had 89 minutes to go and we were still in the game. Obviously the equaliser settled us down again.”

“Their goal was a bit of a freak goal when you look at it,” he commented. “It wasn’t from what you could call good play and they didn’t really put us under any great pressure after that. We set up pretty solid, and goals always change games because they change your mental state as well.

“The ball in from Kyle [Dempsey] was a good one. It’s something we’d worked on and it was nice to see it come off. He whipped a perfect cross in and I was lucky enough to get on the end of it. 

“All you do is try and get decent contact and the next thing you look at is to see what the travel of the ball is. There was nobody on the post and I don’t think the keeper even moved, so it was a good one for us.”

“There was a determination there for us to see it through once we’d gone in front,” he explained. “As a defender it’s your job to block shots and to put your body on the line. When everyone is doing it, from the strikers to the back four, it makes it easier to hold onto games. 

“The third goal completely put it to bed and it was a really good away performance. We’ve shown again that we can stand up to a bit of pressure.”

On the partnership with Troy Archibald-Henville, he said: “I enjoy working with him. Through injury on both sides we haven’t really played together much this season. We had a few games together last year, so it comes down to doing your best once you get in the team. Hopefully we can continue to build something. 

“We had Courtney [Meppen-Walter] sat in front of us again on Saturday and we talked to him constantly,” he said. “The more we speak the easier the game becomes for him. I think he’s done really well because it’s a bit different to what he’s been asked to do before. He’s playing the role in exactly the way the manager has expected it to be done.”

Looking ahead to the trip to Bury, he said: “We got a good result at Wimbledon and it’s another tough game on Saturday. I don’t see any reason why we can’t push on from here now. 

“After the home game against Bury I think a lot of the lads said they were the best team we’d played. They passed it really well and, possession wise, they’re probably 70% to 30% with most teams. 

“I think what we’ve noticed is the pitches aren’t as good as they were at the start of the season and that’s affected Bury a bit. We’re certainly ready for anything they throw at us.”

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