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INTERVIEW: The first goal was key

27 February 2017

Nicky Adams on the Portsmouth and Cheltenham games

We caught up with midfielder Nicky Adams shortly after full time on Saturday to get his reaction to the disappointing result.

“It didn’t feel like a 3-0 defeat,” he said. “No one is happy getting beat by that score line at home, and rightly so. We want to win games but, on reflection, everyone who was here will know it wasn’t really a 3-0 game. Up until the first goal it was a great contest with both teams going for it.

“Jamie Proctor actually scored in the first half and I don’t think he was offside. It’s another one where sometimes it can go for you and sometimes it goes against you. We probably had the better chances, we started the second half well and we were getting some dangerous balls into the box.

“Proc had a great chance after the break. I know him well and I can see how disappointed he is in himself. He’s been great for us, he’s come in and filled the void of losing Charlie [Wyke]. He’s a handful and he works so hard. We’re all disappointed, which we’re always going to be after losing a game."

“The first goal was key," he continued. "We had some great chances which we didn’t take and they’ve punished us for it.

"Their first goal was a good finish but we were still trying to win the game. Everyone knows how we play and we always try to attack. Their keeper made some good saves and we’ve missed chances - if you don’t score and don’t keep a clean sheet then you don’t win the game.

“We’re all disappointed but every time we’ve had a disappointment we’ve always bounced back with a positive result. Nothing will change change on Tuesday."

“We obviously lost both centre halves early on and they’ve been fantastic for us during the last few weeks, especially against Wycombe when they dealt with a massive physical threat," he commented. "I was the first one to come in after that game, because I’m always barking at them, and say credit where credit is due because they were outstanding for us last week.

“They started the game today very well again then we lost them both, which is a big loss. To lose anyone on the pitch is a big loss but we lost a partnership. Saying that, Gary Liddle and Macaulay [Gillesphey] came in and did equally as well."

On the team's overall performance, he said: “I don’t think there was much difference from the way we’ve been playing in the last few games. We’ve been right at it and I think we were at it again today.

"We really pressed them, they pressed us, and it was a good contest. In the key moments we just didn’t take our chances. We should have had a stone wall penalty as well, which wasn’t given. We’re still in good spirits, we’ve got a good set of lads and we know there are some massive games coming up, which we’re all ready for."

Speaking about that penalty decision, he said: "The handball is one of those. I don’t think it’s too hard to see. The ball went in the air and I was going to go for the header, but the wind has moved it and their player more or less caught it.

"They should have actually gone up the other end and scored from that, but their lad missed an open goal. Sometimes they’re given, sometimes they aren’t, we’ve just got to take it on the chin and bounce back on Tuesday. We’ll all come in on Monday in good spirits as usual.

"We’ve got a massive two games coming up and we’ll do everything right. There are plenty of twists and turns to come, we’ve had a hard run of fixtures, if we can get a few more points on the board we can really look forward to the last push towards the end of the season."

On what we can expect to see at Cheltenham on Tuesday night, he said: “Every time we’ve lost this season we’ve always followed it up with a positive result. That just shows what good characters we’ve got in the dressing room. We haven’t got anyone in there who sulks and moans, we just get on with it and we’re a good group of lads.

“Last time we got beat against Blackpool we deserved it because we weren’t at it. Today wasn’t like that. Until the first goal went in there was nothing in the game. It was end-to-end with two very good teams going at each other.

"Unfortunately we didn’t get that first goal which would have been key. We’ll take the positives from it. I was speaking to some of their lads and they knew they'd had a tough afternoon. From the outside it will look like they’ve done us 3-0, but they were saying we’re one of the best teams they’ve played."

“When you look at the table there’s probably five or six teams going for the top three spots this season," he continued. "No one is running away with it. Last year was different. I think the top three were more or less gone, and no one was catching them, but this year everyone is quite close.

"That’s good because it makes it exciting. I think we’ve played most of the teams around us already. We’ve got Plymouth coming up but after that we’ve played all of the top teams apart from Exeter on the last day of the season.

"All the others have got to play each other. Hopefully we can take care of our results and they can take points off each other. We know what our aim is, nothing changes. It didn’t change after we got beat off Blackpool and it won’t change today."

“It’s good that we’ve got a game on Tuesday because it doesn’t give you time to dwell on it," he concluded. "It can be a long week after a defeat, so Tuesday is one we’re all looking forward to. 

“I’m not too sure what Cheltenham’s pitch is like but I don’t think it will be as good as ours. We’ve been to poor pitches before and done well. I think we can mix it up and there will be no excuses from us. We’ll go there with the mindset of trying to win the game. I’m excited, we’ve got 13 games to go and we’re in a good position.

“Every game is a big game. Cheltenham are fighting for survival so it’s a massive game for them in their own right. From the first game of the season we’ve looked at every game as massive, we’ve always tried to win and, as I say, nothing will change on Tuesday."

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