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INTERVIEW: I settled very quickly and I'm enjoying it

13 June 2016

Defender Mark Ellis on enjoying his football again

Central defender Mark Ellis turned a loan move into a two-and-a-half year deal during the last January transfer window and he went on to become a near ever-present as he made a slot at the heart of the back line his own.

A total of 35 appearances and a first goal for the club in the 2-2 FA Cup draw with Yeovil Town cemented his position as he admitted to enjoying his football again following his move up north.

“I think coming in at the stage I did, with the team playing well, always meant I was going to enjoy myself,” he said. “We have a great group of players and staff here and I was made to feel very welcome. It’s been a very good experience so far.

“Mind you, my debut is definitely something I won’t forget. We were two down after 20 minutes and I was thinking to myself – what have I done here! It wasn’t the best impression I could have given to the fans, but things picked up and I think we showed over the season that we’re a decent team. 

“We’ve finished tenth this time round and it is disappointing for us that we didn’t quite get there. Hopefully we can build on that next season and kick on.”

On the success of the move so far, he said: “I came here to play first team football and it’s brilliant that it’s gone that way for me. I wasn’t required at Shrewsbury and I let it be known I wasn’t willing to sit around doing nothing. I knew I needed to be playing football but that’s the case for me wherever I go.

“Getting the contract here was massive. It means I know what I’m doing for the next few years, and my family know where I’m going to be and what I’m doing as well. That makes it so much easier on that side of things. I’ve settled quickly and my aim now is to help this club get promoted next season.”

The implementation of a new style of play of playing out from the back has hinged a lot around starting things off properly with the centre backs using possession wisely, and he admitted that he was more than comfortable with being asked to do things that way.

“It’s something I’ve done before,” he told us. “I had a good chat with the manager after the season had ended and he said again that if it’s on to do it, then just do it. Likewise, if the situation dictates that you need to put your foot through the ball and send it long then you have to do that. 

“We’ve seen a few times this season that if we get it down and play we can destroy teams. The manager has been really good with me and I’ve enjoyed working with him. He said the same about me and now it’s a case of working hard and continuing that improvement.”

Part two of this interview will appear on the official website on Tuesday morning.

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