Interview : Russell Slade : 24/03/2007
Russell Slade talks to BBC Radio Bristol after the 1-0 win over Chesterfield
Russell Slade
Russell Slade
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Yeovil Town manager Russell Slade talked to BBC Radio Bristol's Ben Orr after his side had beaten Chesterfield 1-0 on March 24th 2007.

BO: Russell what did you make of today's performance?

RS: It was a scrappy and tense affair, and that was something I probably predicted that it would be. Obviously the conditions, with a strong wind blowing down the pitch, didn't help the cause. The pitch was exceptionally bobbly today and that wasn't conducive to flowing football. It was never going to be that way. But what I was pleased with today was that we kept a little bit more discipline during that second period, even when time was running out. We managed to get the ball into the box a little bit more often than we've done on previous occasions and with a bit more good fortune we could have scored before then. I do recall vividly a ball on the six yard line for about three seconds and nobody wanting to stick it home and their keeper didn't know where it was either.

But the ball fell to Nathan. I've never fancied him on his right foot on the edge of the box, I have to say! He has unleashed it and you have to say that a goal of that sort of standard that deserves to win a football match at the end of the day.

BO: I think we could say you'd won at that point.

RS: Yes, it was a massive relief of course for myself, my staff, my players, the club, the fans - everybody! We were desperate to get that ball in the back of the net. We were fighting and we were trying. It wasn't pretty at times today and it was awkward but we managed to do it in the end.

BO: What did you say to the players at half time because in the first 45 minutes it didn't seem to be quite happening for you today.

RS: Yes, it certainly wasn't happening although as I say, I think the conditions were playing a major major part in the game. It was a game where Chesterfield in the first half were able to get the ball forward and cause us more problems, particularly in the first 10 minutes. We seemed to weather that and in the second half I thought that Arron Davies got some great balls into the box. Terry Skiverton got in a couple of headers that flashed by. We've got the ball in there but Chesterfield have defended exceptionally well and they are fighting for their lives and we expected that. But in the end of course we stuck to it and that was important to us. We dug in and we got a good old-fashioned 1-0 win.

BO: There was an incident when Arron Davies appeared to be bearing down on goal before he got chopped down yet their man was allowed to stay on the pitch. What did you make of that incident?

RS: I'll tell you exactly what I made of it. I think the referee was right in the end because he wasn't through, but he actually does deserve a red card. That is how I feel about it, because he had done so much to get through. It was cynical and it was premeditated and really in those situations perhaps players deserve to go. But he wasn't quite the last man and that is to the letter of the law. If he applies that then the referee has made the right decision.

BO: Overall you've got the three points and that was everything today wasn't it? Is that what you've said to the players - just go out and win the game?

RS: Yes, it is everything. I just told them to take those house bricks off their shoulders at half time and go out there and play a little bit more relaxed, play with a smile on your face and try and enjoy it. We've enjoyed our season - we have enjoyed it massively and if we packed up today we've still had a good season. But there is so much more to play for and it is important to go out there in a certain way with a certain attitude and with a confidence as well.

BO: Nathan Jones you have mentioned briefly, but under the circumstances - he was in hospital two and a half weeks ago - even playing for 90 minutes was an achievement. Then to come up with a goal like that is a mark of the man.

RS: Yes, he had a shocking game thought didn't he! ...(laughs)... Even by his own admission he didn't have a great game but that finished it off and it was fantastic. Fair play to his attitude. He wanted to play. He came in to see me and he was desperate to play. We didn't think he was going to make it on Wednesday, but on Thursday he looked better then on Friday he looked better again and so we put him in there and thankfully we did!

BO: But overall as we reach the crunch end of the season, are you looking for a bit more from some of your more experienced players, through the likes of Terry Skiverton and Marcus Stewart?

RS: Yes, particularly in forward areas because it didn't look like our two today were going to break them down. We didn't score against Blackpool so I was having to mix it up again in order to get a result. Fortunately it came from a defender today.

BO: But you'll take performances like that between now and the end of the season as long as they end up with three points.

RS: Yes for sure. We've been on the wrong side of one or two 1-0s at home haven't we? This time we've managed to score a goal at home and 1-0 seems to be our favourite scoreline either way. Fortunately it has gone our way today and they are absolutely vital points for us and with a couple more wins now I think we will be very close to one of those playoff spots.

BO: Those three points set you up well because you've got some very tricky looking fixtures coming up haven't you?

RS: Yes, we've got some very tricky ones. We've still got to travel to Oldham, Scunthorpe and Bristol City. So it doesn't get any easier, but that is all part and parcel of it. We are enjoying it and hopefully we can get enough points on the board.

BO: And did you enjoy tasting that relief all around the ground - the crowd, the stewards, the players, the chairman and the board of directors. Even in the press box we were breathing a sigh of relief. It is a nice feeling.

RS: It is an absolutely fantastic feeling. To win a football match is always a fantastic feeling, but to win it firstly with a good goal and secondly in the dying seconds and really the importance of it, we can't measure right now.

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Other Resources
Next Interview : 31/03/2007 : Russell Slade talks to BBC Radio Bristol after the 1-0 defeat against Oldham
Previous Interview : 17/03/2007 : Russell Slade talks to BBC Radio Bristol after the 1-0 defeat against Blackpool
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