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INTERVIEW: We're playing some good football

Danny Grainger on the Colchester game

1 March 2019

Captain Danny Grainger made his return to action last Saturday after picking up a dead leg in the away game at Crewe.

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We caught up with him this week to get his thoughts on the away draw and on the important games to come.

“I was gutted to miss the MK Dons game,” he said. “The atmosphere was great and it’s a crucial time of the season, but the game just came a couple of days too soon for me. I was in with Dolly all week leading up to it but we just couldn’t seem to get through it.

“Dead legs are frustrating because there isn’t a lot you can do with them. I got a whack on my leg against Exeter but I was able to get through it until Tuesday at Crewe. I got another whack on it in the first half at Crewe and it all bled down into my knee, Unfortunately Dolly just couldn’t make his magic hands work their magic quickly enough!

“When you see someone has got a dead leg you think you can just get on with it, but it’s frustrating. I obviously played on Saturday and even now I can still feel the bits of achiness from it.

"I had quite an impressive bruise on it which is still there, I seem to be bruising like a proper old man at the moment and Dolly has been winding me up about that as well. It did shock me how much bruising there was in it."

With that behind him and having stepped back into the fold last weekend, he said: "That was a game we could and probably should have won. We weren’t professional enough in the last half an hour or so in possession of the ball, we just didn’t keep it enough.

"Saying that, we can’t give away sloppy goals. It was hard because they were throwing everybody forward, they had three big strikers on and their centre halves were coming up, so everyone was in the box.

"If you look at it, Adam [Collin] made the save, it dropped straight to their man and he’s headed it through Parkesy’s [Tom Parkes] legs. Two or three inches either side and it gets blocked.

“The last kick of the game, Parkesy heads the corner, it hits Lids [Gary Liddle] then hits their boy on the back of the neck, which he has no idea about, and goes just wide. Those are the margins and sometimes when the luck isn’t with you, that’s how it goes."

On the run of encouraging performances, despite the results, he said: “We’re playing some good football and we’ve had long spells in games where we’ve performed well.

"I think we’re creating plenty of chances and we look solid enough, even though we’ve conceded some sloppy goals of late. We’re playing everybody in and around us at the moment so if we can come out of this tough run with more points you just never know what can happen in the run-in.

"If we can go and put another run together like we did over Christmas, there’s no reason why we can’t kick on and make sure we finish either in the top three places or the play-offs.

“The new lads have come into a team and squad that was really upbeat and playing really well. I think we’re starting to see them all settle in now. Cull [Mark Cullen] was a massive part of the good performance on Saturday and the other new boys are all really starting to show what they can do as well."


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But has morale been affected by the recent results?

“There isn’t any anxiety in the dressing room, even though it’s been a few games since we won," he told us. "I know it’s a cliché but we do take every game as it comes. It's all about what we do at Newport now. 

“We’ve got 12 games left and we need to make sure come the end of the season we’re involved in the top seven. Like I said, we take each game as it comes and also make sure we don’t dwell on anything at this stage of the season.

“We’ve dropped out of those play-offs places at the moment, but it’s sometimes better not to look at it and just concentrate on your games on a Saturday. We know we’re at the business end of the season and anyone within touching distance can end up getting into the play-offs.

"It's often the team that makes a late run who goes up, because they’ve got the momentum. We’re not looking at anything like that just yet, we just want to make sure we do ourselves justice with our performances and get as many points as we can before we see where it takes us."

“There’s been a lot of ups and downs already this season," he commented. "At the start of the season there wasn’t much optimism, so for us to be where we are now is a great testament to the lads in the dressing room.

"We need to make sure we keep the momentum going so the fans stay right behind us, as they have all season."

Up next for the Blues is tomorrow's trip to face the Exiles.

“Newport is never an easy place to go," he said. "They’re a good team with a good manager, so we know it will be a tough game down there.

"We also know it’s a game where we need to pick up three points, which is the same in every game, especially at this stage of the season.

“We're going there to win and then it's back to Brunton Park the week after for another big game.

"It was fantastic to see Brunton Park as full as it was in the last home game and it really showed we can all get behind each other. There are 12 games left so it would be great for the fans to continue coming in their numbers to help push us over the line.”

Click HERE to watch an interview with Danny Grainger on iFollow United now.

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