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INTERVIEW: We feel like the team is coming together well

Tom Parkes on his goal against Port Vale

24 August 2018

We spoke to defender Tom Parkes shortly after full time on Tuesday night to get his thoughts on the victory over Port Vale at Brunton Park.

“I’m happy to get off the mark for the season,” he said. “I think it’s my first goal at Brunton Park as well, so I’m delighted, especially because it’s got us the three points.

“From the start of the game, the corners that were coming in from Jamie [Devitt] and Danny [Grainger] were great. Port Vale defended them very well in the first half, we had a few chances where we could have scored, but they kept us out.

"The ball from Dev for my goal was a great cross and thankfully I got away from my man and got good contact on it. The most important thing is the first home win of the season.

"To get a good away win on Saturday then come into a tough game tonight and get another three points is really pleasing. The only disappointing thing from it is that we didn’t get the clean sheet.

“We knew when we went 2-0 up they would throw everybody up front to try and get back into it. It was a great finish from the free kick but as a team we know we shouldn’t have given that sort of free kick away in that position.

“We all wanted a clean sheet so it was frustrating to concede the goal, but the main thing was the three points. If we can keep clean sheets we have a better chance to win games, when they scored the free kick it just gave them that little bit of momentum, but we were lucky that it was right at the end of the game."

“We feel like the team is coming together well," he continued. "We’re working hard in training. We’ve got new players so we’re adjusting to how they play and they’ll be doing the same with the lads who were already here. We’re gelling well together and I think it’s starting to show on the pitch.

“Anthony Gerrard has been brilliant in his first couple of games. I think Saturday at Cheltenham was his first 90 minutes for a while but he did well, and he’s done the same tonight. He’s got a lot of experience and he’s always talking, and when he’s talking I’m learning from him as well. Hopefully I can take a few tips off him, like I did with Clint [Hill] last year."

“Confidence is high in the dressing room, as you’d expect after two wins on the bounce," he confirmed. "We haven’t got to get too carried away, we’ll make sure we stay focused and work hard in training. We’re already looking forward to Saturday’s game and trying to get another win. We want to keep the momentum going and hopefully get three wins on the bounce.

“When you get that momentum you want the games to come thick and fast. We’ve got two wins on the bounce and we want to keep it going, we don’t want it to slow down. We’re an experienced team at the minute so we know what we’ve got to do. We’ll make sure we work hard, rest up when we need to and prepare right for Saturday."

And on the noise levels from the fans, he said: “The fans have been brilliant right from the start of the season. They can see that the boys are putting the effort in and they appreciate that whether we win, lose or draw. When they’re behind us like they were tonight it does massively help us to push on.

“We’re playing a really attacking style of football which I know the fans are enjoying. It’s great when you’ve got Hallam Hope and Jerry Yates on the wings because they’ve both got real pace and they’re dangerous when they go at defenders.

“On a personal level I feel like I’ve done well so far this season. We were all disappointed at Exeter, but we got a good point against a good team in Northampton.

"The Blackburn game was tough for us all but I felt I wasn’t at my best for that game, then since then I think we’ve all improved. I think we’ve showed the mental strength we’ve got as a team by coming back from that Blackburn game with two wins."

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