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INTERVIEW: Best atmosphere I've worked in

7 January 2016

Derek Asamoah on his new contract and the FA Cup

Striker Derek Asamoah spoke to us about his contract extension which keeps him at Brunton Park until the end of the current season.

“It’s good to get it done,” he said. “It’s nice to know I’ll be staying until the end of the season. It means I can get on board 100% with what we’re trying to achieve here. 

“The fact that I’ve been here on short-term deals so far hasn’t been a problem for me. I know my ability has never been in doubt and I’ve been happy to keep impressing people so that I could get longer contracts.”

“I’ve made sure I’ve been ready to help whenever I’ve been called on,” he added. “Obviously I would like to start more games and I’ve probably come on as a sub in more than I’ve started so far. 

“Again, I don’t see that as a problem, but if you don’t strive to start games as a professional you shouldn’t be involved. I’ll keep working hard in training and I’ll make sure I’m in the right frame of mind and condition whenever I’m asked for.

“The fact none of us are guaranteed a starting place shows the quality we have here. The last time I started before last Saturday was when I scored the winner against Luton. That shows that even if you score, or if you think you’ve played well, it comes down to what the manager feels the best game plan is. 

“If he thinks the way we need to play to get the points doesn’t suit you, or fit your style, then he’ll pick someone else. It’s all part of the good competition for places we have.”

“I’m enjoying my football here,” he said. “The atmosphere is one of the best I’ve worked in. I’ve been with a few clubs and they haven’t been anything like this. Everyone is together and we’re all pushing for the same targets. I’m happy with everything here and I think that’s important. 

“The relationship with the manager is also very important. He’s a huge part of the reason why I’m here and why I chose to stay on. I know he wants me at the club and I think I’ve got a good relationship with him. 

“I also think my relationship with the fans is getting better and better. They’re starting to understand me and what I can do, so this feels like a really good place to be. The messages that come through on social media are fantastic and I can’t thank everyone enough for the way they’ve accepted me at their club.”

On the seven goals he’s scored so far this season, he said: “I’m very pleased but I obviously want more. I felt sharp coming out of pre-season and the work I put in then is paying off for me now. I’ve got a few goals so far and I want it to continue. The only way to do that is to keep improving certain areas of your game, so that’s my aim. 

“I think I’d have to say one I got at Liverpool has been the highlight of my time with the club so far. It was an amazing feeling to score at Anfield. I must have watched it about a million times and it always brings back the same feelings of pride and achievement.”

Looking back at last weekend’s game against Plymouth, he said: “It was a disappointment for us to lose in the way we did. I don’t think we deserved that. We had a lot of the game and they didn’t really threaten us or put us under any real pressure. 

“You can say they’re at the top for a reason but there wasn’t much difference in terms of quality between the two sides. We’ve outplayed them in the three meetings we’ve had this season so that has to give us confidence. We’ve shown we can compete with anyone and we’ve got nothing to be scared of.”

And looking ahead to Sunday’s FA Cup tie against Yeovil, he said: “I think it’s a great competition. It won’t be an easy game even though we’ve been made out to be favourites. It’s a knockout competition and literally anything can happen. 

“We need to go with the right attitude and treat the game with the respect it deserves. It’s one I’m looking forward to and hopefully we’ll be able to progress to the next stage.

“In terms of FA Cup memories, I played against Manchester United at Sixfields when I was at Northampton. I think that's my favourite FA Cup memory because although we lost the game we competed well. It was a great day with a great atmosphere. 

“They played the likes of Paul Scholes, Cristiano Ronaldo, Nicky Butt and Diego Forlan, so it was an impressive team. It was amazing just to be on the same field as them and it was back when I was just starting out in my career.

“I want to be involved on Sunday and the aim in every training session is to catch the manager's eye. I've had a couple of days off this week, because I haven’t been well, but I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. Hopefully I’ll be able to play a big part in the game on Sunday.”

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