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Confidence in the camp is high ahead of Crawley trip insists Close

12 January 2023

Interviews

Confidence in the camp is high ahead of Crawley trip insists Close

12 January 2023

Ben Close says recent performances have only added to the belief among the Rovers squad, who travel to face Crawley Town this weekend.

Back-to-back wins over Rochdale and Carlisle United were followed up with an excellent showing at Sky Bet League Two leaders Leyton Orient last weekend.

And midfielder Close says the group is very assured in what they are setting out to deliver on the pitch.

Close on confidence in the camp:

“I think we’ve had a decent return from the last three games, taking into account the performance last weekend. I think the performance in the middle game against Carlisle was excellent. I think we had a clear identity on and off the ball. Hopefully we can use that to take us forward.”

On his own form:

“A lot of players will go through periods like I have with injury but it’s a great feeling to have played so many games this season.

“I think there’s a bit more consistency from me and there’s more to come so the aim for the rest of the season is to keep improving on those performances.”

On facing Crawley:

“I think based on the last few performances we’ve got to look at every game as winnable and this weekend will be no different.

“It’s tough to know what to expect from a club with difficulties like theirs so we’ve got to focus fully on our own performance and we’ve been working hard this week for the win.

“The performance and the win against Carlisle and the performance against Leyton Orient gives us confidence and you can feel that in the squad.”

On Jon Taylor’s injury:

“I’m gutted for Jon. He’s been dealt blow after blow over the last couple of years. I spent a lot of time with him in the gym last season. He’s a really positive person and he deals with setbacks really well.

“I’m sure he’ll be the same. It’ll be a disappointing blow but he gets over it quickly and I’m sure once he’s back at the training ground, he’ll be his usual self.

“He’s a great person to be around. He lifts the mood of the dressing room. I was lucky enough to have good people like him around when I was out with the injury for long periods.”

On taking more of a leadership role:

“There’s good people to learn from and feed off. For me, it’s looking to learn through the transition of being a younger player to a more senior player. That’s part of what I’m trying to do at the moment.

“I’m trying to improve my leadership qualities and help young players improve as well. It’s something I’m enjoying.

“When I was a younger player, you look to more senior, experienced players when times are tough, when you’re unsure about anything or when it gets difficult in a game. It’s something I want to be and I think there’s good people at the club to learn from.”

On working under Danny Schofield:

“I’ve really enjoyed working under him so far. Training has been really enjoyable and tough. I feel like fitness levels have increased throughout the squad and I’ve really liked the way he wants us to play football. It’s been really enjoyable so far.

“I think he’s showed the qualities he’s got. I’m excited to see what the next few months hold. You can see how much he loves football and how much he wants to help us improve as players.”

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