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Interviews

INTERVIEW: We want to make sure we're ready

13 July 2016

Danny Grainger on the Community Fun Day and pre-season

We spoke to club captain Danny Grainger about a fast-paced pre-season at the Community Fun Day on Sunday.

"It was great to see so many people here," he said. "Thankfully it stayed dry even though it was a bit worrying when you looked at the weather on the morning. It was a fantastic turn out and it's always nice to give something back to the community.

"It's massive for local kids to be able to come down and have a bit of fun with the first team players. It's really important that the kids get a hands on experience and are able to see what we do in training on a day-to-day basis. We all have a lot of fun as well so it's massive for everyone.

"It's the sort of thing I wish I'd gone to when I was younger. There are never any grumbles from the first team lads because we know it's important and it's great to see the smiles on faces when the kids get to play against us."

On pre-season so far, he told us: "Getting minutes on the pitch is all that matters at the moment. Goals aren't important even though it is nice to go into the season with a bit of confidence. I'm striking dead balls quite nicely at the moment but it's all about making sure we're fit for Portsmouth.

"I did enjoy seeing that free kick hit the back of the net against Queen of the South, even if it was just so I could give Gav Skelton a bit of stick. Him and Riggy [Steven Rigg] were giving me a bit of it leading up to the game so it was good to put it away.

"It's always nice to see the ball hit the back of the net because I do work hard on them. I feel confident with taking them and I'm more than happy to chip in with goals."

On the relationship he is building up with new signing Nicky Adams, he said: "Nicky is a fantastic player and I was buzzing when we signed him. He's a fantastic talent and he excites people, he gets on the ball and takes it forward.

"When he's playing in front of me he likes to go inside which leaves the space for me to get forward. That's obviously something I like to do. We seem to be building up a good relationship so far and fingers crossed we can carry that on into the season."

"I think all of the new lads are really settling in well,"he continued. "Cassius Camps was a big part of that because we knew we had to work together and help each other through. We said last year when we went down there that it was a great way of getting the new lads integrated, and it's been another success this season. It feels like we've known each other for a long time already and we've got a great team spirit yet again.

"Once you get the first week out the way and get your fitness back you do start looking at that first game of the season. We want to make sure we're ready and sharp. Dolly and Lee Fearn know how many minutes we need to be playing to be ready for that Portsmouth game. We're all looking at that game but we've got another good couple of weeks before it to make sure we're ready."

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