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INTERVIEW: My answer is yes, I would like to stay

Anthony Gerrard confirms he wants to stay with the Blues

27 November 2018

Defender Anthony Gerrard confirmed in his post-match interview on Saturday that he is looking to extend his stay with the Blues beyond the end of his current contract [expires early January] having held initial talks with manager John Sheridan last week.

“The club have offered me something, so it’s just down to getting the details sorted now,” he told us. “No specifics have been mentioned, but I’ve been asked if I would like to extend my stay here. My answer is yes, I would like to stay.

“That’s all we’ve got to at the moment, so hopefully we can get something sorted.”

“I don’t like to bounce from one club to another,” he continued. “I like to get a bit of consistency in myself, so we’ll just see what happens.

“I am happy here, the fans have been really good to me, and I’ve enjoyed being around the city. I didn’t realise how nice of a place it actually was, so it’s all positive at the moment.

“I wouldn’t say I wanted to stay if I didn’t think we could do something on the pitch this season. I don’t think the manager would be here if he didn’t think we could get out of the league either. That’s his nature, he’s always been a winner, and I’m exactly the same.”

Speaking about the disappointment of the result against Forest Green, he said: “Going into the game we knew how they would play, so the lads are all frustrated.

“Early on it was a mismatch, they had players all over the place and we didn’t have the communication skills to cope with it. We couldn’t see the wood for the trees basically, and people didn’t know whether to go to the ball or drop, because they had players going in and out.

“If the communication isn’t right when you’re playing against that type of movement then there always seems to be an overload, which is what happened in the first 25 minutes of the game.

“Once the goal went in it seemed to kickstart us. Whenever they had the ball they were pushing that many men forward that if we’d been able to get in a good position the counter attack was definitely on for us.”

“We settled down after their early bit of pressure and that was when we tried to take the game to them,” he commented. “We dominated for large parts of the second half but ended up getting done by the sucker punch, which came from a flick on from a long ball.

“We don’t get goals given to us the way we seem to gift the opposition. That’s what we need to tighten up on, so we can push forward knowing we have something to protect. We need to shore things up at the back, we keep conceding silly, naïve goals.

“The first goal they scored was unfortunate, it took a deflection and it fell absolutely perfectly for their lad to put it in. It fell right in front of his feet and he didn’t even have to take a touch, and that’s the way things are going at home. We won’t dwell on it, we’ve just got to move on to the next game.”

With results not going our way on our own patch he admitted that it was the biggest cause of frustration in the dressing room at this moment in time.

“For some reason unbeknown to the players and coaching staff our home form is nowhere near as good as our away form,” he conceded. “It’s just not falling for us at home at the moment.

“We created enough chances on Saturday, we had one cleared off the line and we hit the post, and there was my header which went over the bar. If I knew the keeper was steaming out I’d have just glanced it rather than tried to get a full head on it, but that’s how things are going.

“Consistency is key. You can’t go from high to low and back again with each game you play. If you stay at a six or seven out of ten every week you’ll be there or there abouts come the end of the season.

“You don’t have to go from a ten to a four, then back to an eight, but then back down to a three. You go from the absolute sublime to the ridiculous, never mind on a weekly basis, that can happen during the 90 minutes.

“That’s what we seem to be doing at present, but if we can stay on a nice even keel throughout the season I think we’ve got the quality in the squad to do well.”

“I personally think that with the quality we’ve got in the dressing room we’re top three contenders, but I think that’s got to sink in with some people,” he added. “Some players need to believe that they’re good players and they’re capable of that.

“Someone just said we’re still only six points off the automatic promotion places which is what League Two is like. Everybody can beat everybody, and if anybody can get a little bit of consistency and organisation more than likely you will get out of this league.

“The most consistent teams are the ones who get promoted, that obviously happens in every division, but in League One and Two especially, I think it’s paramount. If players at this level had that level of consistency they’d probably be playing a lot higher.

“You always get that one team who string a nine or ten game unbeaten run together and they end up right back in the automatic places. I’ve said time and time again that we’ve got the quality in the group to do that, and I think if we can get it going we can easily go on a run. Every team will be saying the same thing, so it isn’t easy to make that happen, but that’s what we all want.”

And on tonight’s game against Notts County, he said: “I know Neal Ardley well from my time at Cardiff, he’s a lovely man and a good manager.

“He proved what he could do with AFC Wimbledon with limited resources when he got them out of League Two. Notts County have quite a big budget considering where they are in the league, but hopefully we can give them something to improve on rather than positives to look at after tonight’s game.

“Chairmen and owners seem to think that if the invest loads of money then results will automatically come but it doesn’t work like that, as I’m sure they’ve found out at Notts County. It takes a lot of time for players to bed in and learn the philosophy of the manager and how he wants to play. That’s done over time on the training pitch.

“We’ll go there looking for the three points, as we do in every game. I thought we were unlucky to be on the losing side on Saturday, with the way we finished the game, and we were just lacking that final bit of quality. Hopefully that will be there tonight.”

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