Defender Gary Liddle made his 600th career appearance on Saturday in the 1-1 draw with Colchester and we caught up with him shortly after full time to get his thoughts on that, and on the game.
“We were disappointed to come away with a point after being 1-0 up, but it was a game of two halves," he said. "We did really well in the first half and we knew the game was there to be taken for both teams. With the chances we created we were confident we could go on and win the game.
“We found ourselves in front with a great goal from Hallam [Hope] again, but we just didn’t continue the things we’d done until then once we’d scored. We started going a bit more direct than we like to and, if you go long then nine times out of ten it’s just going to come straight back.
"That’s the most disappointing thing, we didn’t keep our passing game going which drew them onto us and, unfortunately, we conceded the goal. It’s happened in the last two games, and we know if we keep the ball better we’ll pick up better results.
"In both games we’ve had decent first halves but we haven’t been too pleased with either second half. There are lessons to be learned, but we’re still right in there. It’s all really tight and everyone is taking points off each other at this moment in time, and that’s how it’ll be right until the death."
“We went into half time pleased with how we’d played," he confirmed. "Regan [Slater] had a good chance and Cal [O’Hare] had a chance with the follow up, Cull [Mark Cullen] had a chance where his shot deflected just wide, so we knew we were creating openings.
"It was just about continuing that and then trying to make sure we took one. We did that in the second half and it would have been nice to go two up, and Hal had another great chance with the shot from the penalty spot."
On his recent injury, which saw him miss the Cheltenham and Port Vale games, he explained: “It was a pretty sore knee injury I picked up a few weeks ago and the scans weren’t too great, but I’ve felt good for a couple of weeks now.
"The results that came back from the scan suggested I’d need an 8-12 week recuperation period, so it was pleasing to be able to come back as quickly as I did. At this stage of the season you don’t really feel perfect, but it’s a case of managing yourself and it felt great today.
“I was unfortunate to get injured in the build up to the gaffer’s first game against Cheltenham, but Gary Miller did really well while I was out. It was an unfortunate accident really, and it was even more unfortunate that it was with the heaviest player in the squad in Adam Collin - he was the one who landed on me!
"Gaz was brilliant in the games he played and I know he’s there wanting to play so we’ll continue to drive each other on."
On the fantastic 600-game apppearance, he said: “I’m really pleased to have got to 600 appearances. Apart from the injury I’ve just had, they other ones through my career only seem to have been for a couple of days, or a couple of weeks out at most.
"Touch wood I can continue playing a lot of games because to still only be 32 and get to 600 games is something I’m really proud of.
“It does feel like it’s flown by, even though my body feels it a little bit more than it used to after games. Since leaving Middlesbrough, without making a senior appearance, I went to Hartlepool at the age of 20, and here I am 12 years later at the 600 game mark. I’m buzzing with it. It would be nice to finish the season off with a promotion."
And on the important fixtures still to come, he told us: “We’re still right in there but it’s been a couple of games since we won, so it’s important we pick up another three points quickly.
"It was important we didn’t lose at Colchester, but after the game we’re disappointed not to have won. There are always lessons to be learned and hopefully we’ll go into another tough game at Newport next week and put this right.
"The fact that the lads are disappointed to have not picked up the three points after coming to a place like this is a good thing. I know we’ve dropped out of the play-offs, but it’s all so tight and we know teams will continue to take points off each other. It’s all about consistency.
“Newport have had some good games in the FA Cup this season so we know they’ll be tough to play against. They don’t have the greatest pitch down there so a different type of football might need to be played. We’ll go there in a confident mood, we’ll have a good week of training and we''l head to the weekend looking to get us back up and running again.”
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