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INTERVIEW: There's a lot of expectation there

19 August 2016

Danny Grainger on an encouraging start to the season

We spoke to club captain Danny Grainger about the confidence flowing through the squad following the positive start to the new season which has seen the team go unbeaten in four games.

“I think the lads will be happy with how they're playing,” he said. “We're creating chances, which is good, and we're looking solid at the back. Things are going well at the moment. 

“It would have been nice to get the win on Tuesday, because our performance was fantastic, but we just couldn't get the ball over the line. It was vital that we got the goal at the end of the game because we’d dominated it. 

“Everyone who was there or who has watched the highlights will know there was only one team who should have won the game. If we'd come away with no points it would have been an absolute travesty.”

“It was good to see Jason Kennedy come on and score the goal because he's an important part of the squad,” he added. “He's an important player for us because he does a lot of hard work. He sometimes doesn't get the recognition he deserves but it was fantastic to see him get the goal and his celebration showed how much it meant to him. 

“I could have had a couple of goals myself on another day. The referee got in the way of the one that hit the bar and the free kick was inches wide. We don't say we’ve been unlucky and next time I've got to make sure it goes in. 

“I think I'm getting there in terms of my own performances. There's always room for improvement but I'm delighted with how things are going at the moment. I'm getting forward and getting a few crosses in, but it's important to keep the back door shut as well.”

Hand-in-hand with the performances has been the fantastic support, home and away, from fans who have stayed behind well after the final whistle has been blown at every game so far to show their appreciation.

“The fans have been fantastic so far,” he commented. “There's a real excitement about the place and it's been good that the lads have been able to put performances on that the fans have enjoyed. There's a lot of expectation there, which is good, because it all bodes well for a good season.

“One thing we want to do is to make sure our home games are about us. We want to dominate our home games all season. When it comes to away games on smaller pitches and different environments we’ll have to put on battling performances. There's plenty in that dressing room who can do that.” 

“There's a lot of character in that dressing room and I think that shows how good the squad is,” he continued. “We don’t just have one or two lads driving people forward now – the dressing room is full of people who want to make sure everyone is pushing on. 

“We've got competition across the pitch and we know we have two or three players for each position, so we can't slack off. The manager stuck by the team for the last three games but we don't know what he'll do on Saturday. 

“It's one of those where you know if you drop your performance level the manager will change it. We've got players in the dressing room ready to go and they're all fighting fit and raring to get into the team.”

Looking ahead to the weekend trip to Cambridge, he said: “Cambridge is always a tough, physical battle. We've been down there for the last couple of seasons, it's been in different circumstances each time, but we know it will be a tough game. They'll be well organised and they all know what they're doing. 

“Even though we're going away from home it's still about how we approach the game and go about our business. It would be nice to come away from there with our unbeaten run intact. The longer this run goes on the more teams will start looking at it. 

“I read a stat this morning that said we've only conceded two away goals in the last six games, and they were both at Portsmouth, so it would be nice to keep another clean sheet as well.”

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