Gary Liddle on Crawley, Newport and the importance of the fansDefender Gary Liddle spoke today about the feeling of frustration in the dressing room following recent results which have seen the club slip out of the play-off places but also insisted that with two games to go it is all still there to play for.
“There’s a huge feeling of frustration in there because we know results could have been better,” he said. “Looking at the weekend, I don’t want to say we had the game sewn up but we were relatively comfortable. We’d come back from two goals down and the only way they were troubling us was from those big free kicks which they were getting into the box.
“I felt we gave away too many of those and ultimately one of them cost us. It certainly felt like a defeat, even though it wasn’t, because it was one we really needed to win to give ourselves a good chance of cementing a play-off spot.”
“It’s not all done and dusted, of course, because if we get maximum points from the games left it will still leave us with a chance,” he continued. “There is a sense of frustration that it’s no longer in our hands, and we knew when we were drawing a lot of games a few weeks ago that the teams below us were creeping up fast, even though we were still in the top places.
“We were fully aware of it and we knew we needed to get more wins, which we didn’t manage to do. We’ve now found ourselves slipping down the league even though we are still only one point behind.”
“One thing we can take from the last few weeks is that we’ve played some good football,” he added. “Down at Crawley, a lot of people would have thought it was game over when they got their second, but we showed good character to get it back before half time. When we went in front it felt like there was only going to be one winner.
“I must admit I enjoyed Jamie Proctor’s goal because I’m not really known for my crossing. I found myself a bit further forward than I usually am and I knew as soon as it came off my foot that it was going in the right area. If you do that you give the strikers a better chance of finishing it off, which is what he did.”
“Like I say, following that game at the weekend we know we should be sitting here with three points now,” he commented. “The manager had said that a draw and two wins from the last three games would get us in there and it’s no different as we sit here right now.
“We didn’t lose the game on Saturday and we have to keep looking at the positives. I know it’s hard for the fans to see it that way sometimes, because it’s hard for the players as well, particularly with the way the game ended up.”
Looking ahead to the visit of Newport County, he said: “We’ve only got one outcome that’s needed from that. They’ve been going well, so it will be a tough one, but we need to do whatever we need to do to give ourselves a fighting chance.
“I’ve played a lot of my career at League One and Two level and I’ve been involved where the last few games have just petered out because there’s been nothing to play for. Both Newport and Exeter have got something to play for, as have we, so it’ll be an exciting end to the season.”
“We’d obviously have preferred to have had things sorted by now but there’s still a job to do and hopefully the fans can turn out in their numbers on Saturday, because they’ll be needed to cheer us on,” he said. “It’s time for us to concentrate on ourselves and put everything into this weekend. Newport will come and throw everything at us because they’ve won four out of their last five, and all by the same one-goal margin.
“They’ve shown that they’re resolute and they have a bit of form behind them, but we’re quietly confident that we can stamp our own game on them. That’s what we’ve done in most games lately and we’ve created a lot of chances.
“We’ll continue doing that because we want the season to have five games left and not just the two. The fans have been superb this season and they’ve turned out in great numbers home and away.
“We all share the disappointment they’re feeling at the moment. We have slipped out of the play-off places but we are by no means giving it up. We want to get back in there and we’ll need their help in doing so at the weekend.”