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INTERVIEW: Determined to get the points

19 April 2016

Luke Joyce on the Cambridge and Luton games

Midfielder Luke Joyce spoke to us ahead of training on Monday about the Cambridge and Luton games.

"A game like Saturday is a battle," he said. "You have to try and dig out an extra 5% because you know you're missing a player - or two players as it was for the last couple of minutes.

"It's a good battle and it's a test of character. The manager mentioned at half time it would be a massive test and he related back to the time we spent at Cassius Camps in the summer. I think the lads showed great determination and fight to get something out of the game."

"To get a man sent off changes your shape and your game plan," he explained. "We work on what we're going to do a couple of days before the game and it does alter that. We had to reshuffle but we've got leaders on the pitch who can get people organised and in the right place.

"I think it was important on Saturday to get to half time and keep a clean sheet. We then had the chance to regroup and collect our thoughts and go again in the second half. They had three in midfield so they were overloading us a little bit at times, especially with the man advantage.

"It was a bit of an uphill battle but we've got fit lads in there who have played games. We're a determined bunch and we tried to do our best to make sure we got something out of the game."

"It was similar to the Accrington game when Jabo [Ibehre] got sent off after 30 seconds," he continued. "We did well that night and we did the same on Saturday. We had to frustrate them and be professional at times but you've got to do what you've got to do to make sure you get the point.

"I think Derek [Asamoah] will be disappointed with his chance. It was a good opportunity but he just didn't manage to take it. It was probably the best chance of the day for either side, which just shows that even with ten men we were still creating openings.

"To go to Cambridge and keep a clean sheet is a positive but to do it with ten men was a pat on the back for everyone."

On the push for the play-offs, he told us: "We have to keep looking at that last play-off spot. We've got four good games coming up we can take points from coming up, so we've got to keep plugging away until it's mathematically impossible.

"Luton will come here with their tails high after their result at Oxford on Saturday. They seem to be picking up points away from home but I think Accrington went to their place and beat them the week before, so they're a team in a bit of indifferent form. It's a good chance for us to get back in front of our home fans and get another win.

"Everyone is determined to get the points. We beat Bristol Rovers and Hartlepool and we wanted to go on a run. That didn’t happen with the Mansfield result, even though I think we did deserve something out of the game. We've been to Cambridge and picked up a point in difficult circumstances and hopefully we can build on that tonight."

"It will be a tough game," he said. "We went down to Luton and came out on top in a seven-goal thriller so we'll be looking to do the double over them and we'll see where that three points can take us." 

"I was obviously pleased to be back in the team on Saturday after missing the two previous games," he commented. "It's always a bit disappointing and frustrating to be on the bench but I'm happy enough with how I did on Saturday and hopefully it'll be more of the same if I'm selected tonight.

"It's nice to hear people say I'm missed when I'm not in the team but it's hard to say it yourself. When I'm out there I always do my best. I spoke to Lee Dykes on Saturday and he just wanted me to get on the ball and try and dictate play for us.

"If there's a tackle there he wanted me to put it in and let people know they're in a game. That's more difficult with ten men, but hopefully we'll keep 11 men on the pitch tonight and put in a good performance.

"We'll keep going. Obviously Wimbledon are four points ahead of us, with a game in hand, but sometimes those games in hand can work against you because you think you've got three points without actually playing. I think their game is Portsmouth at home, so it's not an easy one. If we can pick up three points tonight, and they don't, you can cut that four points in half straight away."

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