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INTERVIEW: I couldn't believe it didn't go in

19 September 2016

Luke Joyce on the 2-2 draw with Blackpool

We spoke to midfielder Luke Joyce shortly after full-time following the 2-2 draw with Blackpool on Saturday.

“To go 2-0 up anywhere, but especially away from home, it’s always then disappointing not to take the three points,” he said. “To be fair to them they came back at us and they got two quick goals.

“That made the last 20 minutes difficult and we did well to see it through and make sure we did get a point. I think we were all disappointed with the first half because we’ve dominated a lot of the first 45 minutes of games so far this season.

“We’ve been able to put teams under real pressure but, for whatever reason, we weren’t able to do that in this one. The good thing was that we got through to half time with Mark Gillespie making some fantastic saves.

“We came out for the second half with a real appetite and we got our goals. I think that’s when we should kill the game and be a bit more professional and savvy to make sure they don’t score right away to get themselves back into it.”

“We have a lot of experienced players out there and we should take it upon ourselves to make sure we keep tight," he admitted. "People always say you’re at your most vulnerable when you’ve just scored and we know it shouldn’t happen. It’s something we can learn from for the future.

“It’s great to be out there and playing in front of fans like that. I was disappointed to be on the bench in the first half, particularly when you see that level of support. It gives you an extra boost and the celebrations in front of them were brilliant. It’s just a shame we couldn’t hang on and give them the three points they deserved."

“I’d like to think I contributed to getting us going again," he continued. "We all wanted to improve on the first half and we did that in the first 15 or 20 minutes after the break. We got the goals then for whatever reason we seemed to sit back a little bit instead of getting the third goal to kill the game."

On his volley from the edge of the area, which keeper Sam Slocombe plucked out of the air, he said: “I couldn’t believe it didn’t go in. I’ll be honest, I don’t normally catch them as sweet as that. If anything I probably hit it too well and it went straight to the keeper.

"With my shots if they don’t go wide they seem to go straight at the keeper, and I think if that had gone in I’d have been in and celebrating with the 3,000 fans behind the goal. I’ll keep trying and hopefully a little tap-in will drop to me one day."

the draw makes it eight games unbeaten in the league as the good start to the season continues.

“The unbeaten run keeps us right in touch at the top," he said. "We’re eight games in, and it’s an achievement in itself, but to only win two in eight is disappointing because we know we’re better than that. We’re still in touching distance but you do think about what it could be like if we’d converted a couple of them in to wins – we could be sitting right on top.

“We’re not, so we need to get on with it and we need to build from this. The good thing is that we’re playing well and we’re dominating a lot of games. Hopefully we’ll take the form into next Saturday at home and get the three points."

On the frustration of not seeing the result out, he told us: “We’ve got a keeper in Mark Gillespie who is probably the best in the league. He’s making great saves when we need him and we have defenders who put bodies on the line. It’s the game management part we need to improve so we do go on to win these games.

“There were a few expletives in the dressing room afterwards and lads put their hands up knowing they’ve made mistakes. It’s about making sure they don’t happen again. It does feel like a defeat when it shouldn’t, because any point away from home is a good point. We’ve got big ambitions and we know we’re a good squad, but where we want to be in this league is higher than where we are at the moment."

And his final word was for the fans.

“I’ve never really been part of a club that takes travelling support like this,2 he commented. "It gives you goose bumps to play in front of it. It’s brilliant because it’s where you want to be. It brought memories back a little bit of Anfield and hopefully they know we’re doing our best. If they can keep getting behind us we’ll be going onwards and upwards together."

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