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INTERVIEW: It's been a long time coming

4 April 2017

A first goal for the club for United midfielder John O'Sullivan

Midfielder John O’Sullivan notched his first goal for the club on Saturday with a rare headed effort from an excellent delivery from fellow goal scorer Reggie Lambe.

We caught up with him shortly after full time to get his reaction to what had been a very welcome victory.

“I’m not sure there are any words to describe how important that result was,” he said. “We’ve been working hard to try and get it for the last few weeks, but we’ve been through a tough time, so it’s excellent to get three points and a clean sheet with it.

“I thought our defenders were superb and I’m happy for all of the lads that we did it. I can guarantee that we’ve gone out there and worked hard in the games just gone but we haven’t been getting the results and things have gone against us a little bit.

“We kept going from the first whistle in this one and I thought the football we played was excellent at times. It shows that when we get the ball down and play teams can’t really get near us. We need to show more of that going on from here and we need to make sure that this is the performance we kick on from.”

When asked about his first goal for United, he said; “It feels good but it’s been a long time coming as far as I’m concerned. I haven’t had too many chances, to be fair, but I’m happy now.

“It was with my head as well! Everyone calls me ‘Ton Head’ in the dressing room so it’s good to score a goal like that from the edge of the box. The main thing is that it’s nice to have helped the team because we knew we needed to score first.”

“I also have to say thanks to Reggie [Lambe] for the quality of his cross” he added. “He was probably the best player on the field today and he can’t ask for much more than a goal and an assist. He’s a great lad, he works hard and thankfully I was in the right place to put his cross away.”

Confidence visibly flowed through the team almost as soon as his effort hit the back of the net but the wide man insisted that he felt it had never really been an issue, despite the recent results.

“The results haven’t been what we’ve wanted but I don’t think the confidence ever went away,” he commented. “Anyone who has been at the training ground will have seen that we never lost belief at any point.

“There’s been disappointment, of course there has, but we’ve got top players in there who knew all along that we should be doing better. What’s happened has happened and we now look forward to dealing with what we have left.

“Getting that first goal today gave us all a sense of relief, there’s no hiding away from that. That helped us to remember the old side that we were not that long ago and, when you look at it, we could easily have scored four or five in the end.

“We haven’t scored enough and we’ve conceded too many through the run we were on so the aim was to tighten up and put the ball away. We did both, so I think we did well.”

Back to his familiar role out wide on the right for the game, he admitted that it’s a position he knows and enjoys.

“I’ll play anywhere I’m asked to play but I do enjoy taking people on,” he told us. “I’ve been frustrated to have missed out in the last two games and I’ve been itching to get back in the starting line up.

“The gaffer gave me the nod and hopefully I paid him back. I need to make sure I kick on personally and that we do that as a team as well. Being honest, the last few weeks haven’t been anywhere near the standards we set ourselves and we know that isn’t good enough.

“We’ve had a few people missing and some injuries but that’s coming together again. It’s a really strong squad and if you look at our bench you see we had the likes of Jabo [Ibehre] and Jason [Kennedy] who weren’t even used.

“That means we’re in a really good place and, with six games left, we now need to win as many as we can.”

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