In the second part of our interview with defender Nick Anderton he spoke about how easy he had found it to settle in at his new club, having joined us midway through what was a very hectic January transfer window.
“I’ve settled into the club really well and I love it,” he confirmed. “As soon as I walked in the door I felt great. The lads are great and playing every week has been really good for me, particularly having had that hassle with my injury.
“When I first got here the first thing I said was that I like defending. I’m a left back, but I can play in the middle if needed, and the gaffer knows that.
“It’s all still a learning curve because this is the first time I’ve played in this league. But after playing in League One and the National League I know that the teams that do well are the ones who are hard to beat and keep clean sheets.
“You can be flamboyant and play attacking football, but if you concede goals you aren’t going to get the results. We’ve worked hard through my time at here at being much harder to beat and the results have shown that it’s heading the right way.
“I think we all wanted more of the games we drew to be wins, and we probably deserved more points along the way, but we’ve extended the gap and we’re looking up the table now.
“We’ve still got nine games that we’re due to play so we’ve just got to do everything we can to make sure we’re ready if we do get to play them. All clubs across the country are in the same position, and all players will be following fitness regimes because we’re all working towards hopefully getting to play again as soon as we can.”
And with two goals to his name already, he also confirmed that he’d hoped to add a few more before the final whistle of the season had been blown.
“It’s weird that I’ve scored both my goals with my right foot,” he said. “I have had shots with my left, but I always seem to be in the right place with my right.
“I was aiming for another couple before the end of the season so hopefully I’ll be able to manage that. Both goals have been from set pieces and it’s all about gambling really. Aaron [Hayden] and Byron [Webster] are usually the target for the first contact, so it’s my job to pick the pieces up if anything falls in the six-yard box.
“We’ve got some great set piece delivery in the team and we work a lot on them in training. As the players making the movement in the box it’s important to know that the ball that’s coming in is going to be good so you can gamble and look at go to where it might end up. Doing that is what has got me both goals so far.
“Scoring on my debut really helped me settle and I think it helped the fans take to me. That was a big thing for me. I like to work hard and that’s what I’ll do no matter what, and I think all fans respond to that. Giving everything is the bare minimum, and our fans appreciate hard work, so I’ll continue doing that.”
Having confirmed that his top priority each day is his fitness programme, he also revealed that an interest in tractors, inspired by his father, is also keeping him busy.
“My dad is an agricultural contractor so he’s got a lot of work on at the moment,” he told us. “I’m doing bits and pieces for him on his tractors. We’re obviously following all of the government guidelines and just doing what we can from home, but I’ve got my own tractor as well, so I do a few jobs for him.
“The lads love to take the mick out of me, but it’s been good to have something to keep me occupied. The weather has been quite good as well, so we’ve been flat out.”
Looking ahead – an extremely difficult thing to do during these uncertain times – he said: “Nobody knows what’s going to happen, but it is good for me that I’ve got a contract for next year already.
“It’s never a nice situation to be in when you’re coming up to the end of a spell at a club, but it’ll be even tougher for some players at the moment.
“I think there are a few different things in place from the government, and the FA and EFL, to help if things do get worse, especially to help lads out if they do end up out of contract. It’s uncertain times for everyone at the moment, but the safety of everybody is the most important thing.
“Football isn’t at the forefront of anyone’s mind, it’s all about looking after your health and keeping your family safe. That’s why it’s vital that everybody follows the government guidelines.
“It was amazing to see everybody outside clapping the NHS and other key workers last week and it just shows that we’re all coming together.”