Defender Danny Grainger loooks ahead to next season
In the second part of our interview with Danny Grainger we talked about the need to shake off the losing mentality as the club looks towards a much better season in 2015/16.
“If you look through all the leagues you can see there are similar stories in all of them,” he said. “Wigan came down, then went down again and the same happened to Yeovil and Tranmere. That shows you that bouncing straight back isn’t an easy thing to do.
“The losing mentality can be hard to shake off, but I think when Kav made all the changes in the summer, we thought that would be one thing which would change. Unfortunately it never seemed to happen for us, but there are no more excuses now.
“We’ve had a season at this level, we know what it’s about and we can’t have it as an excuse that another poor season would be a hangover from this one. The manager has his plans in place for next season already and I think it’s going to be one we can all look forward to.”
On the positives to take from the last campaign, he said: “Scoring goals for my home town club is right up there. Three in one season is something of a record for me.
“I don’t normally get them so it was nice to chip in with a few. The free kick at Burton, which helped us to keep our league status, was an unreal moment for me. Helping the club in that way is the kind of thing you dream about and it’s just a shame we didn’t see it out for three points on the night.”
On his plans for the summer break, he said: “I normally give myself a couple of weeks off to let my body recover. I even go as far as having a few cheeky meals here and there, and possibly a burger or two over a barbecue.
“The urge to get back to it kicks in quite quickly and as soon as that happens you start pounding the pavement and doing a bit of ball work out on the fields. I always spend plenty of time in the gym as well because it’s something you have to get right.
“These days you come into pre-season to fine tune your body, so there’s no way you can have seven or eight weeks doing nothing where you also eat and drink what you want. You have to look after yourself so you can hit the ground running and give yourself the best chance possible of being picked for the first game of the season.
“We all know what’s going to come, particularly through the first two weeks or so. It’s mostly double sessions and you just have to get on with it. Obviously it gets harder as you get older but you do feel like a new man once you get through it.”
“The other thing with pre-season and the summer months is watching who gets signed, both at other clubs and by us,” he commented. “I love that side of things. There’s nothing more exciting for a football fan and I’m sure I’m the same as everyone else.
“As soon as I see a name I don’t know I go and look it up to check out his history, and things like that. We’ve also all seen what’s happening in the background at the club at the moment and that’s something else I’ll be keeping a close eye on. It’s interesting stuff and it looks like there are better times ahead for us all.”
“What happens on the pitch is a huge part of that,” he agreed. “Looking back at what happened after the Accrington Stanley game we had a lot of team meetings, as players, and it became a big turning point in the season for us.
“We talked about the fact we couldn’t keep feeling sorry for ourselves and that it was time to produce the performances to keep us in the Football League. That attitude has to be taken into day one of our pre-season training so we start to build up the positive winning mentality we all want to see.
“There’s no reason why Carlisle United should settle for League Two. It’s a bigger club than that and we’ve got to make sure we’re around the mix that’s looking to go up once we get to the end of next season. I’m more than confident that we have what it takes to do that, particularly once the gaffer has added to the squad.
“Personally I just want to play as many games as I can. Over 40 this season was brilliant so if I can get anywhere near that again I’ll be delighted. The most I’ve played before is 32 so it was a big jump for me, and it’s something I really enjoyed.”
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