Defender Peter Grant made his debut for the Blues in front of a 10,000 plus strong crowd on Saturday and the 24-year old admitted afterwards that he had mixed feelings as the result went the way of the Dons on the day.
“It was obviously very good to be in the team from the start,” he told us. “On behalf of all the boys we can’t thank the supporters enough for their backing, it was a great turnout. Even in the warm up, you could feel the atmosphere building.
“From a personal point of view, it was good to make my debut in a game like that, but it’s a bitter-sweet one because it was a disappointing result. There’s a lot of things we can take forward from the game in a positive way, and definitely things we can learn from and improve on.”
“I think we started the game well and we really took it to them,” he added. “Over the course of the game, if you take away the three goals, I don’t think they really caused us many problems.
“We had a great shape about us and we nullified their threats. Especially in the first half, I thought we looked really dangerous and moved the ball well. That’s one of the big strengths of the players we’ve got in the team, when we move the ball quickly other teams find it hard to play against us.”
On his job of looking after two very capable forwards, he commented: “They’ve got two good strikers in their team and they’ve both been around the block and scored goals at different levels, so we knew they’d be a threat.
“They’ve got a lot of good players in their squad, but they changed their system in the middle of the first half and also made a change at half time, and I think that speaks volumes for the way we were playing and causing them problems.
“When you look at the general play, we snuffed them out and made it hard for them to get between us, but we were disappointed with the goals we conceded because they were errors we feel we could have eradicated.
“As a defender it’s important to defend your box and keep their forward players quiet. Other people will judge my performance, but for my first game I thought when the opportunity was there I defended our box when I needed to. I was in a back four full of experience, which helps a lot, and I really enjoyed playing with them for the first time.
“I think one of my strengths in my own game is my talking, but we’ve got a lot of boys in the team that do that. I think it’s important to do that and keep myself in the game, and also make sure you talk to the boys in front of you to stop attacks. There were a lot of aspects of the game I was happy with, but I’ll watch it back and look at things I can improve on.”
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With the team having suffered back-to-back defeats in what was a difficult week, he said: “We’ve got a good group of boys in the dressing room so we’ll make sure the last couple of games don’t knock us back.
“We know we’re in a good position in the table, but it’s very tight. We won’t look too far in front, our most important game now is Colchester. Everything is still there to play for and we’re in a really good position.
“The boys are up there for a reason, they’ve worked so hard and played so well to get where they are, and we’re just looking forward to the Colchester game and hopefully to coming away with the three points.”
His first appearance for the club came at the expense of Tom Parkes, who had picked up a groin problem during the Tuesday night game at Crewe.
“Parkesy has been excellent, along with Gez and the rest of the back four, so it felt good to be coming into a team that’s been doing well,” he confirmed. “I felt fit and ready, and it was obviously a great game to make my debut in.
“You don’t need getting up for games like this when you have the atmosphere and it’s against one of the teams that’s up there with you. Like I say it’s bitter-sweet, because it’s disappointing to lose the game, but it’s also good to get my first game for the club under my belt.
“You have to take positives from every fixture, and that’s what we’ll do. We’re in a good place and we know that we’re at a very important stage of the season. Everyone in the dressing room is fully focused on the task at hand.
“We know how difficult it’s going to be but it’s a challenge we’re looking forward to. We’re going into every game knowing it can take you right up there and it’s fantastic to be involved in that.”
As to when he knew he’d starting, he revealed: “It was confirmed on Friday that I was going to be starting. It’s unfortunate for Tom, but he felt something in his groin and I think it highlights that every footballer has to be ready all the time.
“The situation can change at any minute, so I’ve been making sure that I’ve been in the best condition possible just in case something like this happened. I want to add the qualities I have to the team now and hopefully I’ll be able to do my bit to get us to where we want to be.”
And on his first month with the club, he told us: “It’s been fantastic, from the staff right through to the players, and I’ve been made to feel right at home.
“There’s a nice feeling about the place and it’s great to come to work with a smile on your face. We just want to keep that going for everybody and that’s why we know Saturday is so important.
“Colchester are doing really well, so it won’t be easy. We’ve got no fear going there because we know if we stick to our game plan and show our capabilities we’ll win games.
“It’s another difficult challenge to embrace but these are the games you want to be involved in, where you’re playing for something for a positive reason.”
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