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INTERVIEW: We know if we work hard we’ll get where we want to be

16 March 2017

John O'Sullivan on the Luton game

We spoke to midfielder John O'Sullivan shortly after full time on Tuesday night following the 0-0 draw with Luton.

Speaking first about his own performance, he said: “I thought Doncaster was a good game for me but it was a different sort of game tonight. I saw a lot of the ball and I just worked as hard as I could.

"I’ve done a lot of work this week with the gaffer, Lee [Dykes] and Colin West and they are coaching me to use the attributes I have, which is running at people relentlessly.

"I think that showed tonight. Every time I got the ball I went at them. I know every time wasn’t perfect, I need to work on my crossing, which I have been doing, so it will improve. I think tonight I showed what I’m capable of and how hard I’m willing to work for the club, the gaffer and all the lads in there."

“I think people know now I’m a bit of a confidence player, but most wingers are," he added. "That comes with working hard. In the last couple of games I haven’t been where I want to be, but I’ve put the work in.

"I’ll continue to do that to make sure I get to the level I know I can. There’s a lot to improve on, I beat my man a lot tonight, but my crosses let me down a little bit. Like I said, I’ll keep working and that will improve."

“I know there’s more to come from me," he continued. "That’s one of the reasons I came here. The gaffer and Dykesy told me they would get the best out of me, not just on the pitch, but what I do in training. I’ve stayed back a couple of times to practice my crossing and running at people and I think that showed tonight.

“I’m just disappointed we didn’t get the win. I thought we played them off the park at times and we need to be beating the teams who are around us. I think that was our first clean sheet since October so we’ll take that and build on it."

“It was important we put in a performance for the fans," he said. "They’re here every week, even on a Tuesday night when it’s a bit cold - they’re always here. They want us to be successful, we want to be successful as well, and we showed we were willing to fight for that.

"We didn’t get the win but we’ll take the clean sheet and the draw because we know goals will come. If you look at our team we’ve got plenty of players who will get goals."

When asked about how much confidence he'd taken from the support he got from the fans on a personal level, he said: “As a winger, every time I got the ball I could hear every fan willing me on. I didn’t beat him every time, he got a few tackles in, but every time I got the ball I could hear everyone telling me to get at him.

"As a player who thrives on confidence it’s brilliant when the fans are behind you like that. We will put in that extra work, we don’t mean to lose games, but it does happen. If everyone sticks together like we did tonight we’ll get where we want to be."

“The clean sheet was a big thing for us," he added. "We went back to basics and worked hard to get the clean sheet, so we’ll just build on that.

“Every game you play is different and every team goes through a spell where things get tough. It’s about how you come out of it that matters.

"We spoke as a group the other day and said although the last few games have been disappointing, they’re gone. If you dwell on them it will cost you. We’re still in with a chance of catching the team above us, and whichever way we do it we want to get promoted.

“Tonight was a positive, everyone showed how much we’re willing to work and we reminded everyone we’ve got a good squad here. We’re not where we want to be, we want to be higher in the table, and whatever we have to do to get there, we will."

“Even after the last four games, we never lost belief," he told us. "Every time we’re in the dressing room or in training, the belief is there. If you look at the squads in the league there aren’t many better than us.

"We're disappointed with where we are at the moment but we just have to get on with it and push on. We’ve got enough lads in there to get to where we want to be."

Looking back at the weekend result, he said: “Saturday was probably one of the toughest pills to take so far this season. We were very confident going into the game. It could have gone either way with a few decisions here and there, but that’s no excuse.

"We were disappointed but we came in on Sunday and regrouped. There were a lot of harsh words said between each other but the gaffer and the staff really got behind us.

"It wasn’t like we sat down on Sunday and shouted at each other - it was positive. We watched clips and no one was disappointed we had to come in, everyone wanted to. It really helped, and I think it showed tonight that the hunger was there and it maybe put a bit of a spark back into us.

“If we’d sat down at the start of the season I think everyone would have taken being in this position with nine games to go. It’s because we did so well at the start of the season that this seems like a bit of a disappointment. There’s no one in that dressing room who doesn’t think we can get promoted."

“We lost four games on the bounce so there’s nothing to say the teams above us won’t do that," he continued. "This league is mad, there are teams who were down near the relegation zone a few games ago but they’ve gone on a run and they’re on the edge of the play-offs.

"There’s no reason why we can’t go on a good run from now until the end of the season. The teams above us all play each other so they are going to drop points. We need to get a win now and kick on."

“We’ll go to Mansfield with confidence," he told us. "It’s a massive game, we need to start scoring now. We’ve got a clean sheet and we’re working hard, now we need goals.

"We haven’t scored in a few games but with the players we’ve got in this team we should be scoring two or three goals a game. We’ll go into Saturday with confidence and we know if we work hard we’ll get where we want to be."

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