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INTERVIEW: Always got to be ready

25 February 2016

Dan Hanford on the Wimbledon and Morecambe games

We spoke to goalkeeper Dan Hanford about his appearance from the bench against AFC Wimbledon following Mark Gillespie's red card on Tuesday night.

"It was nice to get some pitch time even though the result didn't go our way," he said. "We dominated the game from start to finish but that one mishap gave them the goal.

"When I saw the foul, I saw the yellow card come out, so I thought that was it. Then he pulled the red out of his pocket and I just thought 'here we go'. Simon Tracey was having a little panic and telling me to get ready, but I told him to relax.

"At the end of the day it's a game of football and I'm here to enjoy it. The club are in a fantastic position at the moment which is a million times better than last season.

"If a few results go our way there's no reason why we can't be at the top of the play-offs, if not in the automatic places. If we can carry on going the way we have been there should be no reason why we can't get in the play-offs."

"As a keeper you've always got to be ready," he told us. "I was fortunate that it was just after half time, so I'd had a bit of a run. You've got to be watching the game at all times and be ready. I was ready as soon as I saw the red card.

"It was a dangerous situation as soon as I came on, with the free kick right outside the box. Unfortunately I couldn't keep it out and they were first to react to it. The only thing I felt I needed before I went out was a bit more ball handling, because it was a while since I'd had my warm up.

"Unfortunately I couldn't get the free kick away far enough. I've looked back and thought about if I could have caught it, or made a different decision, but you've just got to take things in your stride. There's nothing I can do now, Mark got sent off and I was thrown in at the deep end. I dealt with the situation as best as I could at the time."

"I think I've got to prove a few critics wrong on Saturday," he admitted. "We had a shaky season last year but I want to show I can stand up to playing in the first team.

"Since the Liverpool game Mark [Gillespie] has been very good for us and he's probably been one of our best players. I've had to grin and bear it. I obviously want to be out there, but I've got to be supportive of Mark. We work really close together and it has been good to see him doing well.

"I'm very confident and I believe in myself. I believe that whatever situation I get thrown into I can deal with it. There are people who don't like that, which I'm aware of, but at the end of the day I'm here to enjoy my football.

"The game down at Morecambe on Boxing Day last year was great. We weren't in the best situation but we took an amazing following down there and beat them 1-0. Hopefully we can do the same on Saturday." 

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