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Maxwell looking to nail down Rovers left back berth

30 September 2022

James Maxwell is looking to cement his place as Rovers left back after making his return to the side.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s trip to Rochdale, the Scottish defender reflected on his time out of the team and determination to make a strong claim for the position during Tommy Rowe’s injury.

On his chance to nail down the left back slot with Rowe’s injury:

“That’s football. Once you get a chance you have to take it.

“Rowey was playing left back. That was fine. I understand he’s an experienced pro and I’m new to the league. There were no problems. 

“Rowey is out injured but I think I deserved my place in the team last week and it’s my chance to nail it down.

“Me dropping out of the team and coming back in, it’s a line drawn under my start to the season.

“I feel fit and ready and I’m training well.

“It’s now the next block of work in terms of putting in good performances.”

On his own form for Rovers:

“I’ve been pleased with it. I think there’s definitely more to come but as a foundation for the season, without having a pre-season and getting chucked in, I’m pleased.

“I had a couple of weeks out of the team which allowed me to reassess and go again. I’ve been happy with how I’ve come back from it.”

On Rovers returning to winning ways:

“It’s definitely picked up around the training ground. We knew where we were, not in a good place.

“But the atmosphere around the training ground has really picked up after the weekend but we knew we’d get back to winning ways.

“We had a few meetings in the week where everyone was open and honest about where we were. It wasn’t as dramatic as people might make out. It happens all the time. You need to ask questions because you can’t let things keep going on the way things were going.

“It started for us in the Lincoln game [Papa John’s Trophy] which gave us a bit of confidence going into the Crawley game, especially the last half hour.

“We took that into Saturday.

“There was nothing fundamental that needed to change. It was more about taking ownership of your own performance. Everyone, including the staff, taking ownership of what we were doing and how we were doing it.

“It was a collective thing, not just pinpointing one person or one thing that we were doing.”

On matching expectations for the season:

“The goal at the start of the season was clear, and we started really well in terms of points. I think we set our standards there. It’s up to us to get back there and we’ll build towards that.”

On the importance of victories against struggling sides:

“It’s vital. We’ve played a lot of teams in the first half so far and got a decent total off that.

“Teams can pick up form. Rochdale have won their last two so the league table can be irrelevant, especially early on in the season. Teams can get off to slow starts and change things quickly.”

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