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INTERVIEW: It’s all about the team who can find that consistency

Gary Liddle on the Tranmere game and bouncing back

18 September 2018

Captain Gary Liddle spoke about the disappointment of losing a game in which the side had controlled much of the play at full time on Saturday as the Blues fell to their first home league defeat of the campaign against Tranmere.

“It’s frustrating to lose a game like that,” he said. “We had a lot of possession and created plenty of chances, so it’s frustrating.

"I thought we played well in the first half and the manager said that at half time. It was just a case of more of the same in the second half, but hopefully with a bit more of a cutting edge in the final third.

“The penalty probably changed the game, but we’ve said to Dev [Jamie Devitt] that he’s our best player in terms of creating chances. He’ll have to handle this disappointment, but he needs to remember he’s won a lot of games for us as well.

"He’ll bounce back, as we’ll all be looking to, because we’ve put in a good performance. We’ll look at it but we’ll try and put it behind us as quickly as we can and look forward to the Bury game."

“The game did change, probably not when the penalty was missed, but when they scored their first goal," he explained. "It deflated us and once that goal went in we were fighting an uphill battle.

"The game wasn’t over, but knowing you’ve had a massive chance to go ahead in the game, and to then go behind, was mentally deflating. In the end they scored a good second goal and it makes it look like they’ve gone home resounding winners. Anyone who was at the game will tell you otherwise."

“We’ll all rally round Dev and Parkesy [Tom Parkes]," he continued. "They’re obviously in the dressing room disappointed with what happened in the final 15 or 20 minutes, but they’re both experienced professionals.

"They aren’t young lads and I’m sure it’s not the first disappointment they’ve had in their career, and it won’t be their last either. We’ve got a good group of lads in that dressing room, we’ll get around them and make sure they’re ready to go again next week."

“For the move leading up to the penalty, I probably should have gone for goal, but I knew he was going to foul me," he told us. "I just wanted to get it over him, or around him, because he was rushing out, and I knew with the momentum he had he would catch me.

"I’ll have to have a look back at it but I maybe could have went for goal myself and rounded off a good move. As it was at the time I was pleased to get the penalty and give us a free shot at goal. Unfortunately it didn’t turn out as we wanted it to."

With the back four now having had a run of games together, he said: “Macca [Macaulay Gillesphey] has come in since Danny [Grainger] has been injured, but it’s been mostly the same back four for a while now since Anthony Gerrard came in. 

"We’re building a decent foundation at the back and we aren’t conceding too many. We’d obviously like to keep a lot more clean sheets, but it’s looking alright at the moment. It’s about keeping players fit, and hopefully we’ll have Danny back in the next week or two and he’ll be back fighting for his position as well.

“Although it sounds like a silly thing to say, the manager always says that he doesn’t mind us losing as long as we lose in the right manner. I think today is a perfect example of that, we’ve given everything out there, we’ve had a right good go at Tranmere and been the better team. We’ve just come out on the wrong side of it."

And with Danny Grainger being absent, the skipper duties have fallen his way over the past few weeks.

“Being captain isn’t unfamiliar to me," he said. "I’ve done it many times at various clubs throughout my career. Danny is captain, but if he’s injured I’m happy to step in.

"We’ve got quite a few leaders out there now, but it’s always an honour to be out there with the armband on.

“We all like to win games, whoever the captain is, and the reaction after we’d lost at Mansfield was good. We need to do the same again now. It will be a tough game at Bury, but they all are in this league.

"On paper, people probably expected us to come out winners against Tranmere, but everyone can beat everyone in this league. We’ll have to make sure we’re on our metal next week, Bury are one of the fancied teams, and so they should be with the squad and budget they’ve got."

And on seeing some familiar faces at Gigg Lane, he said: “Nicky [Adams] has already been messaging me, he just doesn’t shut up.

"I thought I’d heard the last of him, but obviously not! He’s always sending us messages and voice notes and all sorts, but I won’t tell you what he says most of the time. In all seriousness it’s good to see Nicky fit, he’s a great lad and he’s well liked, not only in this dressing room but across football.

"There aren’t many players who don’t know Nicky, just through the sound of his voice more than anything else. It will be good to see him but we’ll all want to get one over on him as well.

"Tom Miller and Lee Dykes are there as well, and it’s always good to come up against your old team mates. We got one over on Joycey the other week and it will be nice to do the same next week."

“It’s instant disappointment when you come off the pitch after losing a game but we’ll pick ourselves up quickly and be absolutely fine," he insisted. "We’ve got the right staff and the right players in the dressing room to handle the disappointment.

"I’ve just said in there, it won’t be the last game we’ll lose this season, this is what this league is all about. It’s so inconsistent, and it’s all about the team who can find that consistency.

"We’ll just worry about ourselves, it’s a long season and we’ve only played eight games, so we’ll just keep looking forward.”

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