Interview with our veteran skipper, which appeared in Saturday's programme
How do you look back on the season so far Dannie?
It’s been a tough one. We had the disruption when the last manager left so early in the season. As players, you get used to things like that happening and it is usually exciting working with a new coach or manager. But obviously Gaby has his own methods and it takes time for his philosophy to be embedded in the club. Before Christmas we had some great performances, particularly at home, but it has been a grind this year no doubt about it. We can’t make excuses as players, as a squad I think we have under-performed and the lads would agree with that.
Have we also been a bit unfortunate at times?
Like I said, I don’t want to make excuses, but we have walked off the pitch a few times this season wondering how we’ve lost a game. Morecambe was a good example. I thought we played well. We’ve had a problem scoring goals this season – everyone knows that – and even when you feel comfortable in games, as we did last Saturday, there is always that concern that if you don’t get your noses in front the opposition are, at some stage, going to put a decent ball into the box and punish you. Look, I’m not blaming the strikers for our problems up front. Ollie’s got 16 goals and he’s had a great season, but we need to find more goals as a team, and that’s everyone. We definitely have goal scorers throughout our squad and we all need to step up in these last six games.
Watch Dannie's brilliant goal against Forest Green Rovers on Saturday
You personally have had another good season. Are you surprised at how many games you’ve played?
Everyone made a bit of a fuss when I turned 40 a few weeks ago but I don’t physically feel any different now than I did five years ago. I still feel I can do a job at this level. The gaffer has been careful with me. I’ve not done many Saturday-Tuesday back to back which has kept me fresh and I think my performances have been pretty consistent. I guess it’s also helped me that we’ve had quite a few injuries in midfield. Jimmy Smith’s been out all season, Fil was injured before Christmas and in the last few weeks we’ve lost Gambo (Luke Gambin), Payney (Josh Payne) and now Matty Willock, who was starting to look really good when he did his hamstring. That’s a lot of talent and experience we’ve had missing from our midfield for large parts of the season. I know every club has injuries but ours have tended to come in the same part of the pitch and I think it’s been a factor.
What’s the feeling in the squad about the run-in?
Look, we’re not in the position in the table we want to be but there’s still time for us to finish off the season strongly. We probably need a couple of wins and I like it that every team we’re playing between now and May 4 has got something to play for, whether it’s the play-offs or making sure they avoid relegation. We don’t want to finish 20th or 21st – there’s still an opportunity for us to end up in mid-table. Our current position isn’t great but we can’t rely on other teams to do it for us, although I’d rather be where we are than the likes of Yeovil, Notts County and Macclesfield.
Finally, you could clock up 400 appearances for the club by the end of the season. Are we going to see you again next season?
I hope so. I’ve had positive discussions with the manager, but everything is on hold now which is fair enough. I still feel I can contribute at this level and I’d love to carry on next season. I was speaking to (Morecambe winger) Kevin Ellison last week, who is another old stager. He’s still fit and strong and can do a job for their team. I can’t make the box to box runs I used to but I was pleased to get on the end of Youngy’s cross in the last minute against Crewe. Age is just a number right?