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INTERVIEW: Football is about fine margins all over the pitch

Defender James Brown on holding down a place in the side

9 October 2017

Defender James Brown joined United on loan from Millwall at the start of the season and has quickly established himself as a favourite with fans with his committed and eye-catching displays.

Currently holding down the right back starting slot, with seven appearances to his name already, we caught up with him to talk about the disappointment of the home defeat at the hands of Exeter City on Saturday.

“I think as players we’re feeling the same as the fans, we’re just disappointed,” he said. “There was very little in the game between both sides. They’re a solid team but I didn’t really think they caused us too many problems and we’ve come back into the dressing room disappointed. We should have taken something from that game.

“Football is about fine margins all over the pitch. In terms of the performance compared to the last few at home it was definitely a step in the right direction against an Exeter team who are now top of the league. It shows we’re not far off at all.”

On the goal which won the game, he told us: “I haven’t seen it back but it was very scrappy. We lost first contact and I hold my hands up, I think it’s my man who went on and scored.

“You’ve got to learn from it. It’s a horrible way to lose because it isn’t a goal where they’ve cut us open. The same goal could easily have happened for us at the other end with the amount of chances we created, but we’ve just got to move on quickly.

“In the last few games there hasn’t been a lot in any of them. We conceded a poor goal today then we’ve gone and peppered their box without getting first contact on the ball. Their keeper made a couple of great saves.

“If we take that performance and mentality to Colchester next week we know we’ll score more goals if we get the rub of the green. We could have easily scored three or four goals today and no one would have said it was fortunate. In the middle of the pitch we played well, we just need things to drop our way in both boxes.”

When asked about the worrying run of home form, he said: “That doesn’t get mentioned before a game. It’s a game of football whether you’ve got your fans there or you haven’t.

“We know we haven’t been doing as well at home but I don’t think we’re feeling the pressure, as such. I think performance wise, if you take the goal out of it, you can’t really ask for much more in terms of the amount of chances we created, especially in the second half.

“There is encouragement in the dressing room because we know the performance was right, but ultimately we are disappointed. We’re frustrated as a team because we know we should have taken something from the game.

“It isn’t too negative, you can’t get too high when you win or too low when you lose. Everyone is level headed and we’ll keep plugging away and doing what we need to do.”

With that run of six consecutive league starts under his belt he admitted that things are going well on a personal level.

“I’m fortunate enough to have been given a chance by the gaffer and I’m grateful for that,” he commented. “Hopefully I’m performing well enough to continue that run. On a personal note I’m happy but at the end of the day there’s nothing better than winning with your team mates, so hopefully we can put that right.

“It’s nice to see that the fans are happy with how I’m performing on social media and things like that, but that’s something else you can’t get too carried away with. Football is so short term, one week you can be a hero and the next you’re rubbish and you’re out of the team. You’ve just got to go from game to game and try and perform as well as you can.

“There are some really good professionals here and I know they can come in and do exactly the same job I’m doing. That’s why I’m just trying to do as well as I can whenever the gaffer gives me the nod.”

And in terms of gaining experience, he said: “It’s good to play with someone like Clint [Hill] who talks to you all the time. You can tell he’s been there and done it and he’s a big help during the games.

“You can learn so much from him. It just shows what level you can get to with his experience and how good he is with all of us. He’s been a great addition to the squad. As someone with only a handful of games he’s exactly what I needed to help me to settle in.

“I’m learning a lot from playing in games that matter as well. When you play under-23 football there’s no one there, there’s no pressure and nothing really means anything. In those games you can be quite selfish because if you have a good game that’s all that matters when it’s all about development.

“Here, if you make a mistake you might not be in the team next week. The fans and your team mates aren’t happy with you and that’s just real-life football. It’s about maturing and playing in a team environment where the result means much more than it ever does in development football.”

And we couldn’t let him go without grilling him about his 60-yard run which took him from the edge of his own box to creating a shooting opportunity for Nicky Adams.
“My run was just heavy touch after heavy touch if I’m being honest!” he admitted. “I don’t think I was ever in control of myself, but I just went with it.

“It fell to Nicky and his shot was blocked which meant I had to make another 90-yard run back. The gaffer gave me an earful for that! I just went with it, I managed to ride a few challenges and luckily it came off.”

Click HERE to watch an interview with James Brown on iFollow United now.   

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