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INTERVIEW: I haven’t been in a dressing room as good as this for a long time

25 November 2016

Mike Jones on the Grimsby and Mansfield games

We spoke to midfielder Mike Jones ahead on Friday afternoon ahead of the last training session of the week as the lads get ready to face Mansfield Town at Brunton Park.

Speaking first about the knock which led to his late substitution on Tuesday night, he said: "My nose is alright. It’s a little bit sore but it isn’t as bad as it looks.

"I’m not really sure what happened myself. I went round the back stick with their number 8 and the next minute I was stuck between the big lads and I’d been smashed off someone. It was pouring with blood, but it’s fine. It’s a little bit sore when I sneeze and things like that but I’ll be fine to play."

"It was another good game on Tuesday night," he added. "I don’t think any of our games have been short of entertainment. When you’re in front you're disappointed when you don’t get all three points, but they’re in good form so, when you look back, it wasn’t a bad point really.

"The response after the Newport game has been massive. Especially last week, it was an unbelievable end to the game, but the main thing was to bounce straight back after a brilliant run. We’d had all the plaudits and we were so disappointed to get beat at Newport.

"They’re bottom of the league so it was a poor performance from us. It was important to bounce straight back, we’ve picked up four points out of six and we’re going into another home game with a chance to go top if results go for us.

"When we did lose after going on such a good run we did feel a bit down because we aren’t used to the feeling. It was good to bounce straight back and we’re two unbeaten again, so we just want to start another run. Everyone is looking forward to starting that and seeing how long this one can last."

On the spirit within the camp, he said: "I haven’t been in a dressing room as good as this for a long time. The one I was in at Bury years ago when we got promoted was pretty good, with a great set of lads.

"Like I said at the beginning of this season, this one felt exactly the same. The lads are so hungry - there’s a real hunger and desire to win games. You look at our first defeat, then the way we came straight back against Exeter. We went and got another good point on the road on Tuesday and it just shows what we’ve got in this dressing room.

"There is a real belief that we’ll get something from every game, however he game goes. We feel confident when we go in front that we we can go on and finish the game off. If it’s tight we know we’ve got a goal in us, and when we go behind we’ve shown many times that we won’t lie down. We’ll go to the end and see what we can get out of the game, and Exeter was the perfect example of that."

Key to the good run the team has enjoyed has been the developing central midfield partnership with Luke Joyce, which has seen United dominate a large majority of the games so far this season.

"Myself and Joycey enjoy playing with each other and we complement each other quite well," he commented. "Everyone is playing well as a squad. There’s a lot of tough competition and long may it continue. We want to keep it going, keep winning games, keep getting points, and make sure we stay where we are in the table.

"It’s a long season, we aren’t even half way through yet, so it doesn’t matter what happens with any result, we won’t get carried away. We’ll make sure we go into every game with the same preparation and just keep our foot down. Hopefully we’re there for the final run-in."

On his own form, he said: "When you’re enjoying your work you get the best out of yourself. I think that’s the same for everyone. I’m certainly enjoying my football and I’ve really taken to the club.

"Hopefully everyone can see that from my performances, I’m going into every game with a smile on my face, like every other lad in the changing room. We want to win every game and keep this club at the top of the league, where it should be.

"It's good to see the reaction to us from the fans and they've been amazing so far. I heard before I came here about the fan base and how big the club was, but I’ve seen it with my own eyes now. It’s been a pleasure to play in front of them. They don’t half get behind us and more and more are turning up every week. They’re getting excited, we’re enjoying what we’re doing and hopefully the fans are enjoying watching us.

"There are going to be times where we might lose games, but if they stick with us we’ll be alright. We’re a hungry squad full of ability, we know we can be up there if they keep supporting us and we can do it together."

And, away from the pitch, this weekend brings an end to a long nine-month wait as his girlfriend Marrie goes into hopsital for the birth of their new baby boy.

"She's booked in to be induced on Sunday morning," he said. "Hopefully everything goes to plan and we can get the three points, then I can shoot home and bring our little boy into the world.

"I can’t wait, it’s a big weekend and we're both really looking forward to it. The first bit of her being pregnant seemed to go so slow, but it soon creeps up on you.

"The last bit is dragging out now and she’s almost two weeks overdue, so I do feel sorry for her. It would be nice to get a goal to welcome him ... but I’ll take three points!"

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