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INTERVIEW: We're determined to put it right

Defender Gary Liddle on a man-of-the-match performance

10 October 2017

Defender Gary Liddle deservedly walked away with the Peter Jackson the Jeweller man-of-the-match award as he put in what was arguably his best personal performance since joining the club during the January 2017 transfer window.

We spoke to him ahead of Monday afternoon’s training session to get his thoughts on the game.

“We seem to be getting decent performances without getting the results at home at the moment,” he said. “We’re staying in games and we’re creating chances, but the ball is just falling in the wrong place.

“The performance was decent on Saturday despite the result, and I think it’s about getting that win at home now. Football is all about fine margins, I think the manager has said it, but we’re so close to getting the result we all want. Once we do get it I think a few results will follow for us at home.”

“I don’t think the home form is playing on our minds,” he insisted. “We’re getting decent results away from home but, for whatever reason, it just isn’t falling for us here. We’d much prefer it the other way around because there’s no better feeling than winning games in front of your own supporters.

“Whether or not it’s down to teams coming here and seeing the wonderful surface and the big stadium and they then step up their game, who knows, but we’re determined to put it right. We’ve got an ideal opportunity over the next few games because I think four out of six are at home. The best scenario would be to start that run off with a win and to hopefully keep them coming.”

Speaking about the support from the fans, he told us: “The fans have been right behind us throughout many of the home games we’ve had this season, even when things haven’t been going our way.

“I think they can see it isn’t through the want of trying. We’re giving everything to try and get that home form going. As it stands the results aren’t going our way but the support was great on Saturday, as it has been in previous games.

“We’ll continue to work hard in training to put it right. We can work as much as we want on crossing and finishing, which we do, but when it comes to a game it’s a lot harder than it looks. I had a couple of chances myself on Saturday which I was disappointed not to put away. When you get them in training they go straight in, and that’s the same for all the lads. We need to be a bit more ruthless and clinical and the results will come.”

And on the display which earned him Saturday’s accolades, he said: “I felt comfortable in the game. When you’re playing alongside someone like Clint [Hill] he does make it easier.

“We’ve got something like 1,000 games between us and he does make it more comfortable. I felt good within myself, disappointed with the result obviously, but hoping to build a bit of confidence to go into next weekend and put in a similar if not better performance.”

Having missed out on a starting place in the last few games, he added: “As I’ve just mentioned, there are over 1,000 games between Clint and myself and you don’t get to those sorts of numbers sat on the bench.

“I’m not used to not playing but I know the manager has decisions to make. We’ve got some good defenders here and it’s all about being ready when you are selected. Now that I have been selected hopefully I can do enough to keep my place.”

And on his return to the role of centre back, he commented: “Probably half of my games have come in defence and the other half in midfield, but I do prefer being at centre back.

“When you come up against good players like we did on Saturday it’s only going to bring the best out of you, and that was probably the case on the day. I knew I needed to give a performance coming back into the team and I’d like to think I did that.

“Now it’s a case of carrying that on and hopefully helping the team to get the results we all feel we deserve.”

Next up for the Blues is a trip to Colchester at the weekend.

“Every game comes down to very fine margins and Colchester will be no different,” he said. “We played a team who went top of the league on Saturday and they weren’t any better than us. It came down to a scrappy set piece goal, which most games in the lower leagues do.

“Once in a blue moon you might see a Shaun Miller strike like the one against Barnet, but most games come down to fine margins. At the moment we’re falling on the wrong side of that, but we’re working hard as a squad to put that right.

“Part of the preparation for the next game is to do the analysis of the weekend game today. These are important sessions because it gives the staff and us players a chance to have our input.

“We do the analysis sessions quite often, win, lose or draw. Some clubs don’t do it but I think it’s good for us. As players we’ll get a say on what we think we did well or not so well, and that can only be a good thing.”

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