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INTERVIEW: There's no hiding behind excuses as far as I'm concerned

31 March 2017

Defender Michael Raynes ahead of the trip to Yeovil

Defender Michael Raynes spoke about the need to take one game at a time as the squad heads south to face Yeovil Town at Huish Park.

“I don’t think any of us are going to try to hide from the fact we haven’t been playing well,” he said. “You can talk about anything you want but there are no excuses for it. If you don’t play well you don’t get results and that’s where we are right now.

“It’s a results based industry and we need to win more games, it really is as simple as that. If I had the answer to why this has happened to us I’d be playing a lot higher than League Two, if I’m being honest. Sometimes these things happen in football.

“It isn’t down to work ethic or lack of effort, or any of the excuses anyone could give you, it’s just really hard to put your finger on it. A bit of it is lack of confidence but it’s probably an accumulation of a number of things. Whatever the reason, the only people who can put it right are the boys in that changing room.”

“We really are trying to put it right,” he continued. “We’re doing everything we can every day and we’re hopeful our quality can shine through again. Like I said, there’s no hiding behind excuses as far as I’m concerned. We haven’t been good enough and that’s why we haven’t been winning games.

“Sometimes it’s the case when things are going against you that you have to change your outlook mentally. If everything is negative you have to stay positive, so we’re focusing on the fact we’re in eighth place and still in with a chance of pushing for promotion. We’d all have taken that.

“The fact we did really well at the start of the season, and we’ve now had our blip at the worst time we possibly could, makes it all feel a lot worse. What we have to keep in mind is that we’re still very much in the hunt.”

Speaking about the disappointment felt by the fans, particularly with having been top of the table such a short time again, he said: “It isn’t just the fans who feel that disappointment, it’s the players as well.

“Our aim is to be up there and, at the moment, we’re nowhere near that. In terms of pride we want to be the best we can be and, being totally honest, it’s money in our pockets if we’re winning and doing well. We have to face up to the fact that we’re not playing well and we have to sort it out.

“What it comes down to now is having the guts to turn it round. Everything feels negative at the moment but we’ve still got a chance to make this season feel like a good one. I’ve been around the game a long time and I don’t think you get too many opportunities like this. When it’s there you just can’t let it pass.

“That’s why we’re doing everything we can to stay in the hunt and, you never know, if we hit a run of form it could give us the momentum to kick on and then into the play-offs. It’s about getting it right at the right time now.”

When asked if confidence is an issue within the squad, he said: “It can come and go, but you get it in there consistently when you’re working as hard as you possibly can. The good squad we have hasn’t suddenly become a bad one, but this is an industry completely based on results and we haven’t been getting them. That just isn’t good enough.

“That’s why we understand the frustration the fans are feeling. We’re going to keep fighting to turn it round for them and for us. The senior lads do have a part to play in that and particularly because we know these chances don’t come round often.

“It’s important we don’t get wrapped up in the emotional side of it all and that we stay in focus. Each player has got to do what he can do to make sure we beat the team we play on a Saturday.”

“We’ve got a very tough test away at Yeovil next and we’ll treat it the same way we have been all season,” he concluded. “We’ll take them all one game at a time and we’ll do what we can to make the next few games go our way.

“We can’t look at these games as a bigger picture any more, we have to deal with Yeovil first and then take it from there. We’ll keep fighting – that’s all you can do in life really – so we’ll keep fighting and we’ll see where we end up.”

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