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INTERVIEW: We're more than capable of doing it

Mike Jones on the Cambridge game and his return to the team

26 March 2019

We caught up with midfielder Mike Jones shortly after full-time in the Cambridge game on Saturday.

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“We’re frustrated not to have picked up all three points today,” he told us. “Sometimes a point just doesn’t feel like anything. We’re chasing at the right end of the table so it does feel a bit like a defeat, to be honest. We need to win games now to make sure we get into those top seven places.

“No one really enjoys drawing unless you’re playing a big team away in the cup or something like that. I’ve always hated drawing during my career because it doesn’t really do anything for either team. It does feel like two points dropped, as it did last week.

“It can be more frustrating when you don’t get the win when you know you deserved it. The performance was there again and we created a lot of good opportunities. We know there isn’t a lot wrong so you come away thinking about how haven’t we won the game.

“We had enough chances to win it, but it is what it is, and we’ll go to Tranmere knowing we’re capable of winning even though we know it will be a tough game. We’re creating a lot of chances at the moment and we know if we keep doing that we’ll win more games than we lose. It would be more worrying if we were sitting here and we hadn’t created chances."

On the eye-catching style of football being played at the moment, he told us: “We’ve got a lot of players who are comfortable on the ball.

"I’ve enjoyed playing with Regan [Slater] and Cal [O’Hare] either side of me, with Dev [Jamie Devitt] ahead of me. Dev has been brilliant in that little pocket, and we have to play passing football because that’s when you get the best out of us.

"We have to keep doing that and trusting each other on the ball, and sometimes if it does break down you have to be brave enough to do it again, because that’s when we create our chances.

“All of the lads worked their socks off, we were still pushing towards the end and we looked the fitter team, so I don’t think you could say we look tired, although I can’t speak for other people. We’re doing the right things and creating the chances, and hopefully the goals will come and we’ll start putting teams to bed."

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27 March 2019

“We’ve got some big games coming up but those are the games you want to be playing in," he commented. "We seem to far better sometimes against the better teams. If we get into the play-offs we know there’ll be two games under big pressure against a good team, so we’ve got to cope with those games and we know we need to pick points up.

“We’ve got to go to Tranmere and probably beat Bury and Lincoln at home, but we’re more than capable of doing it. We’ve always said there isn’t much in this league, it’s about the team who finds the consistency. We were brilliant last week against a very good Forest Green team, and we should have won this one, so we’re going to Tranmere with confidence."

“It will be nice to go back to Tranmere," he admitted. "They’re another club like ourselves who could be at a higher level. I’ve still got a lot of family in that area and they haven’t been to a game for a while, so it will be nice for them to come and watch us hopefully get the three points.

“I started my career there and was there probably from the age of 12 to 21, and I’ve got a lot of time for the club. It’s a great club and I had a good time there, my first few pro years were there so it will be nice to return, but the only thing I’ll be going to do is get the three points for Carlisle."

And having returned to the acyion to play back-to-back games, he said: “It’s good to be back in the team after a spell on the bench, which was probably the longest I’ve ever had in my career when I haven’t been injured.

"It was a testing period, but one thing I always do, which comes from my family and my background, is keep working hard. You have to keep grafting and hope things will change for you, and in the last couple of games I’ve finally got my chance.

“I am grumpy when I’m not in the team but if I was walking around jumping through hoops that I wasn’t playing then I’d be in the wrong profession. I’m here to play, sitting on the bench doesn’t interest me, and I’ve always hated it in my career. I’ve made moves in my career where I’ve dropped down a level just to play football.

“When you’re out of the team it’s frustrating but there’s no point in slacking in training or not doing extra bits, because then when your chance does come you get found out. I knew my time would come, I didn’t think it would take that long, but I made sure I kept myself fit and ready. I’ve felt good in the last two games and I’m just glad to be back in the team and helping the lads as much as I can.

“It was nice to pick up the man-of-the-match award today because I haven’t been up there for a while. The fans have always been brilliant with me here through my good patches - and my not so good patches. I really appreciate their support and all I’m trying to do is the best I can when I’m out there to try and get this club promoted."

“I said when I first came here that I came to get promoted," he reiterated. "The first year was frustrating because everyone knows how close we were, and on a personal level I was injured and had to watch us miss out. This club is crying out to be at a higher level, I said that from the minute I came, and it was the reason I came here because I expected us to go up.

“This isn’t an easy league to get out of. We’re all trying our best and hopefully we’re there again at the end of the season, we just need to see it out. I certainly would fancy us against anyone over two legs, we just need to stick in there. Hopefully it’ll be third time lucky.

“The gap to the play-offs has opened up a bit this weekend so that will give us that extra bit of motivation. It’s maybe a bit of a wake-up call, we can’t just keep clinging on and trying to get draws to hope we stay there. We need to get wins, and we know there’s enough in the dressing room to get them. We’ll go to Tranmere in decent form and good spirits and look to pick up the three points.”

And having come close to hitting the back of the net in both of the last two games, he said: “I almost got a goal and I had two half decent strikes last week as well.

"I don’t know what it is, I just need a lucky one to take a deflection off someone’s head or back and wrongfoot the keeper. My goal ratio here is ridiculously bad, but all I can do is keep hitting the target and hopefully one will go in."

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