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INTERVIEW: An enjoyable style of football

11 September 2015

Defender Michael Raynes on setting high standards

Defender Michael Raynes spoke to us about a good first month of the season as the team sits comfortably in mid-table off the back of consecutive league victories.

"It was massive to get the three points last Saturday," he said. "We've had occasions this season where we've played ridiculously well and come away with nothing. If we're honest there were a couple of us, myself included, not quite at our high standards on Saturday.

"After the game we had mixed feelings. We were absolutely buzzing that we'd won but we have set ourselves standards that we're trying to maintain. We had a reflection period after the game because, yes, we came away with the points. but we know need to show those high standards week in, week out.

"We've looked at ways we can improve and I think we know we need to look at the positives. We've had an away win, a home win, and we're going into some huge games which could give us the momentum we need."

On the new formation and style of play, he said: "Three at the back will leave us exposed at times but it's our job as a back three - five if you include Luke Joyce and Mark Gillespie - to stop that. It's been enjoyable to get to grips with it but, for us as defenders, we don't want to concede goals.

"We conceded one from a set play on Saturday which is never nice, and the other goal came from a cross. We weren't being cut open, the goals were defendable and we need to defend them. We're trying to set high standards every day in everything we do and those types of goals are the things we're trying to eradicate.

"We know there will be times where the front boys won't score so we need to shut the door. The way it's been the last few weeks, we've conceded but they've got us out of it, so it's going to be give and take. If we keep doing the right things we'll earn our own luck, and although there will be ups and downs we should come out on top in the end." 

"It's an enjoyable style of football to be involved in," he continued. "My agent came to the Port Vale game, which was the first game he'd been to this season, and he said I look like a new man. I'm really enjoying my football again and everyone is having a go at trying to play this way.

"I made the mistake on Saturday which I had to hold my hands up and apologise for, but you have to be brave enough to get on the ball again after that happens. You have to put yourself out there and in the position to make those mistakes. That's all you can do in life really when you think about it.

"One of my previous managers always used to say that once your mistake has been talked about you have to draw a line under it and move on. You can't keep dwelling on past mistakes. We have to move on and we've got a good home game against Dagenham that gives us the chance to make it three wins on the bounce. Successful teams keep grinding out results and we're trying to get as high as possible and get to the finish line."

And on the Capital One Cup draw which pitted United against Liverpool, he said: "I'm a Man Utd fan so I was buzzing when we drew Liverpool. 

"I've had one game, when Newcastle were in the Championship, and that is the biggest place I've played at so far. To play at Anfield is ridiculous. It's only an hour away from my house so all my lot will be coming down.

"In the mean time we've got two important games before that and we know how big they are. If we can get six points on the board that would be brilliant. We know York will be another tough away game but we're playing good football and we're in good form so we shouldn't be scared of anybody." 

"I'm playing every game at the moment which is really enjoyable," he concluded. "I've had a sticky couple of years in terms of playing a few games then coming out due to injury or loss of form. 

"My aim this year is to play as many as I can. If I'm enjoying it, we're playing well and we're getting good results there isn't much more you can ask for."

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