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Interviews

INTERVIEW: We know the fans will be there

Christie Elliott ahead of the Cheltenham game

20 August 2019

Defender Christie Elliott admitted after the game at Brunton Park on Saturday that the main feeling inside the dressing room was one of frustration at having enjoyed so much of the possession without quite managing to create the chance to win the game.

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“It was massively frustrating day,” he said. “I think they set up to get an early goal then defend, and they defended well throughout the game.

“It was hard to break down because they put every player behind the ball, but we should have stuck to the things we’re good at. We needed to get it out wide a little bit more and get those overlapping runs, but they defended well as soon as they got the first goal and it was frustrating to not get anything on the board.”

“It felt like we were in control throughout the whole of the first half, but goals win games,” he added. “When we concede sloppy goals like that, I think they had two chances and scored two goals, we won’t win. On another day we could have got a number of goals ourselves and pushed on.

“As frustrating as it was, we can’t do anything about it now, so we have to take the positives and cut out the negatives. Like the gaffer said as well, the goals are frustrating because they are sloppy.

“For the first one, I think I should have got out to him a bit quicker after the ball got switched, but it was a good cross, which they finished. For the second one it’s came from a set piece situation which we should defend better. We can only look back now and look to rectify those things going forward.”

With the stop-start nature of the first half, with a number of home attacks stopped in their tracks by the referee’s whistle, he commented: “It is difficult to adapt when a team play in the way they did in the first half.

“They’d obviously looked at how well we play football and wanted to disrupt that. They got as many players behind the ball as they could to stop us doing what we’re good at, but when teams do that it’s up to us to do something different to create the chances.

“We created a number of opportunities in the first half and we were getting the ball out wide to Nath [Thomas] and Harry [McKirdy], but as soon as they got the first goal it changed the dynamics of the game.

“They just put everyone behind the ball and defended, which they did well. If we got the first goal I feel like we would have gone on to get a few more. We had a lot of the ball in the second half but we didn’t really create the chances.

“You can talk about possession all day long but as we saw against Barnsley, they had all the possession and we came away with a 3-0 win. It’s goals that win games, and unfortunately it just didn’t happen for us.”

“The good thing is that we’ve got the game at Cheltenham to put this right and hopefully get three points on the board,” he told us. “The games are coming quickly but that’s a good thing.

“It’ll be another tough game, as every game in this league is. I think it we stick to what we’re good at we can beat any team in this league, and it’s important we get back to winning ways and get our confidence back to where it was after Barnsley.

“It’s all about getting a run of consistency in any league, especially if you’ve got the ambition to finish at the top end of the table. We’ll be looking to put right what went wrong on Saturday in the next few games.”

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Having come to the club during the summer and having caught the eye during pre-season, he said: “I do feel like I’ve settled in. It’s a brilliant group and everyone within the club has welcomed me so well.

“The fans have turned up in their numbers at every game and it’s important we all stick together throughout the season.

“It’s totally new for me playing in England and it’s important I get up and running and at my best as quickly as possible. I think the levels in this league are similar to what I’ve been used to, and it’s all about which team wants it more on the day. Every team you play will want to win as much as you do, so it’s important you stick to your own strengths.  

“When we get things right we’re a good team. Our aim is to produce more of the good stuff and get as many points as possible.

“On a personal level I took a bit of a knock in the Hibs game and that has kind of affected me throughout. I’m just getting back now and I feel like I can get back to my best.

“It’s early doors, it’s a brand new season for myself, and I’m looking forward to doing what I know I can do. Forward runs and helping the attackers is a real strength in my game. I like getting into the final third and I enjoy creating those opportunities.

“I’m sure the more we go on we’ll get more confident as a team the more good results we’ll get. As I say, for me, I will come out of my shell a little bit more and the more games I play the better I will get.”

And back to the Cheltenham game, and another long hop down the M6 and the M5, he said: “The longest at Partick Thistle was three hours, and the lads all complained about that, but there are some very long ones with Carlisle.

“The good thing is that we stay in a hotel so it’s a great way to get more team bonding going, and as we get closer together you’ll see much better things out on the pitch.

“The great thing is we know the fans will be there. That’s massive because it feels like a twelfth man. When we got the first goal at Barnsley you felt an energy coming from them and that got us even more buzzing.

“It pushed us on to want to get more goals so it’s important that the fans do turn up because they give us confidence. Hopefully we’ll repay them by getting points on the board.”

Click HERE to watch an interview with Christie Elliott on iFollow United now.

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