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Interviews

Clayton relishing fight for places in Rovers side

23 December 2022

Interviews

Clayton relishing fight for places in Rovers side

23 December 2022

Captain Adam Clayton was never going to retreat into his shell after finding himself out of the team and admits he has enjoyed fighting his way back into the side.

Clayton was among the substitutes before returning to the side in impressive fashion in recent weeks.

And he is looking forward to the return to action on Boxing Day against Tranmere Rovers.

Clayton on the frustration of seeing last weekend’s game postponed:

“I think the result in the previous game at Newport was good so the lads were ready to go again the next week. But there were only two games on last weekend so no one has stolen the march and everyone is in the same boat.

“We’ll just try to take that good feeling and positive energy into Tranmere.

“The performance at Newport had a bit of everything. You could see what we have been working on under the new manager, the way we want to play. You saw it in long spells, with playing out from the back, creating chances and then in the last 20 minutes when they were throwing everything at us, you could see the lads step up and take the challenge and really dominate.

“It was a performance that had everything and we took a to of confidence out of it. Hopefully that can be the one that gets us going and gets us on the run.”

On the importance of the busy Christmas period:

“Whenever you’ve got three games in a really short period of time, it’s a chance to put nine points on the board and cement your place for the run-in in the second half of the season.

“It’s a big week and hopefully we can come out with as many points as possible and put ourselves in a good position.

“For me, Christmas is football. If you’re not playing it, you’re watching it. It’s what families like to do on a Christmas week.

“I think the Boxing Day game is one of the best of the season. The mood around the stadiums is always brilliant because everyone is happy and a little bit more upbeat. You can feel that on the pitch and when you win on Boxing Day, it’s one of the best of the season.”

On the current position of the team:

“I think when a new manager comes in you have a period of transition and performances to get to where the manager wants to get to. I think we’ve got through that phase after a lot of work on the training ground.

“Hopefully the Newport win can be the one that propels us in what we want to do in a positive direction.

“Danny has definitely got his own way of playing, his own way of attacking and defending, playing out etc. He really believes in it.

“The players can see that he’s not going to go away from what he believes and were going to keep trying to get better at that. It’s a process and in the games that we’ve had under him so far you’ve seen glimpses of the stuff we’re working on.

“It’s up to us to put 70 minute performances together and really dominate because that’s where we want to go.”

On his own standing in the squad:

“I’ve had a few conversations with the manager. It’s not nice to come out of the team but I’m no different to anyone else in the squad and I’ve got to earn the right to play.

“He chose a team after coming in the building new, for whatever reason, and you have to deal with that and move on.

“I think I’d played every minute of every game up to that point so it was my turn to show what I was capable of again and what I’m made of in the way I reacted, the way I trained and then came back in and played well.

“It’s the never-ending story of what you need to do in your career.

“While I’m enjoying playing the games under the new manager, I’m also coaching the boys who aren’t to keep their heads up and keep training well. I know if it happens to me, I can’t be going into my shell and not trying as hard.

“You have to practice what you preach in those situations.

“Playing on a Saturday week in, week out, there’s no better feeling. That’s why we’re in the game. I’ll train as hard and as tough as I need to in order to make that happen.

“I took it as a good thing to come out of the team. I tried to get fitter and stronger and tried to see a different side. I got to watch a couple of the games and was able to understand the team a bit more.

“Coming back in, I can even more. That has to be the mindset for any player. You take knocks throughout your career and mine has been built on coming back from bad times and having good stretches of good times.”

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