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Interviews

INTERVIEW: You have to go right to the end

Morgan Feeney with weekend match reaction

4 April 2022

Defender Morgan Feeney took the captain’s armband for the first time from the start of a game on Saturday afternoon – and what a game it turned out to be.

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To say it was incident packed would quite simply be an understatement, and the popular centre back admitted afterwards that it was a relatively new experience, with plenty going for him to deal with.

“I can’t remember if I have been involved in anything like that before, there was a bit of everything, wasn’t there,” he said. “It was a bit feisty early doors but we just had to remain calm and try to get the win.

“There was always going to be a lively crowd, but our fans were brilliant as well. They were louder than the home fans and that’s great.

“To be honest it was a bit of fight and we kept going right to the end, even when it wasn’t going our way.

“We’re a good, tight knit group and we tried to remain calm and stick to the task at hand. We had to show a bit of steel and I think that’s what we did.”

And on leading the team out, he added: “It was obviously a proud moment for me, and when I found out earlier in the day at the team meeting I was delighted.

“You can’t really dwell on things like that, you’ve just got to take it on board and do your job. I was made up with it.

“And then the fans are singing my name and stuff, it’s just crazy. The reception from them is amazing and I can’t thank them enough. It’s great to have the armband and have them doing that.

“They voted for me to get that award last week as well, and I’m delighted with that. It came out of the blue, but thank you very much to the people who voted. I don’t really know what to say because I’m not used to things like this.”

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Back to on-field matters, and the manner of the equaliser is becoming a bit of a theme with this group, with late dramatic goals almost expected.

“It probably didn’t look like it, but it did feel to us out on the pitch that it was coming,” he revealed. “How long was left, maybe a couple of seconds, and we just kept plugging away.

“That’s what you have to do, go right to the end, and it’s superb when you get a late goal like that and you can all celebrate together.

“It makes it even sweeter when the fans are all there, thousands of them, or however many there was, and it’s moments like that you live for as a footballer.

“We’re delighted to get a point in the end because we had to really work hard and fight for it. And t the end we had their fans keeping the ball in the stand, and I was talking to the ref about it.

“He said the clock had stopped. That’s all he can do in that situation. It’s good to one-up them at the end when they think they’re getting away with it by doing that.”

Looking at the game overall, he told us: “It was a bit chaotic, there was a lot going on, and obviously there was the early red card and the melee.

“We had to stay composed, go about our business and try to leave all of that. With them having ten men we knew we’d have a lot more of the ball and that we’d need to stay resolute at the back.

“They’re a good side and getting a draw in the manner we did was really pleasing. They’re where they are for a reason.

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“They play good football and we had to soak up some pressure, but all you can do is remain calm and stick to the task.

“I felt like we dealt with what they had quite well and it was one of those days where we had to be patient. We felt the goals would come and thankfully two did.”

“I was gutted about their second one,” he continued. “First of all I’ve got to score, it’s just not a good enough header. Then that possibly changes the game, but you’ve just got to deal with what’s happened after they break and it’s about fighting to get the draw.

“We are a really tight group and I think you could see that out on the pitch when we were fighting to get something. We stick together when incidents happen and the way we go about things on the pitch shows what it’s like in that dressing room.

“Our results have been good lately, even though we’ve had a couple of losses, but we still want to win as many games as we can. We want three points from every game we go into at the moment.

“We’re happy to get a draw with the game ended up going, but we’re also disappointed it’s not three points because of the positive attitude we’ve got going at the moment.”

Having mentioned that things got a bit chaotic, at times, he spoke about the part he played in helping to keep things in check once the cards started flying around.

“When you’re playing away things like the red card can lift the home crowd and it gets the atmosphere a bit lively,” he said. “We all got together out there and we said that we needed to stay calm and keep focus.

“We didn’t want to give the ref any reason to even the odds, and we knew that if we kept going we’d get something, which we did.

“It’s very easy to lose it a bit when the crowd picks up for them, and when it gets a bit hostile. That’s when you have to try to wear teams down a little bit and be patient.

“I thought we did that, and we created a few chances that on another day would have been put away. It wasn’t happening early doors and we just had to wait until late on to get that goal.”

“I’ve got no idea why I was booked,” he confirmed. “The ref wouldn’t tell me, I asked him a few times, and he told me at the end to come and see him in his room, but I thought I’d come out here instead.

“I’m still none the wiser because it felt like I was trying to calm things down, to be honest, and I think he was just picking people and booking them. It didn’t turn into anything else so it’s ok.

“We’re thinking about the next game already now and all we’re thinking about is winning. We want points and good performances, that’s all we care about.”

Scenes, limbs, call it what you like, there will always be something special for all concerned when a late goal that means something is netted in that way.

“I think Greg [Short] said Dynel set a new high speed record the way he got across the pitch to celebrate with us off the bench, and I think it was the quickest he moved all game,” he said. “It was brilliant and that’s what it means to us all. I’m surprised he had any legs to get across the pitch, but it was great to see.

“The fans, again, they’ve just been brilliant. I don’t know who I owe a couple of pints to for singing my name, but it gives you a really good feeling when you’re playing. I can’t thank them enough.

“But for all of us, it’s not done yet. The only way we see it is that we have to win every game that we can. That’s how we go into every game.

“We aren’t playing for draws, or anything like that, and that’s how it will carry on. That’s our only thought at the moment.”

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