Post-match interview vs. Annfield Plain
by Justin Smart
For the first time this season Durham City went ahead, thanks to Andrew Pritchard's goal assisted by our new signing Kaya Bodur. Unfortunately, we couldn't make the pressure count in the first half, which held us back and ultimately your Citizens went down 3-1 in the end to the claret and blue of Annfield Plain.
This side, although very new to each other still, has shown that they can play football and the credit must go to the entire backroom staff of Wayne, Brian, JJ and Kyle. My thoughts are that we're getting closer and closer to how we want to play football and we're making the right signings to add to the squad, although there is obviously room for improvement, as everyone witnessed. Here’s my chat with Wayne about Saturday's game.
Justin Smart - For the first time this season, we have taken the lead against a team. How important is it to consolidate and manage games like that at this level? And how disappointing is it to come away losing from a winning position?
Wayne Gredziak - I think first half against Annfield plain we played the best football we have to date and no one could have complained if we went 3-0 up, but we easily missed chances and panic set in, inviting the away team on as we sat back and a penalty right at the end of the first half was the sucker punch, which seemed to take the wind out of our sails. As the game progressed, you could only see one team going on to win the game as we did everything wrong second half.
JS - You have to be pleased with new acquisition Kaya Bodur, providing an assist for Andrew Pritchard, who took his goal well himself. Is that a sign of things to come?
WG - Kaya is only a young lad and is definitely a player who is only going to get better and better as his fitness levels increase but an assist on your debut is a cracking way to introduce yourself into the Wearside League. He now needs to ensure his standards don’t drop.
JS - I feel we must take positives, in spite of various factors during the game. Who else shone for you, and why?
WG - First half I thought we were outstanding and the players did everything we have worked on in training and I thought we had got it right but we must remember this team is young and I believe we were very naive to think that the job was done at half time. I think the players and myself took this game as a learning curve and we can’t let this sort of thing happen again and I’m positive it won’t.
JS - Callum Hills is set to make his comeback for the club for the derby, like Kaya did last Saturday. What can he add to the squad?
WG - Callum Hills is another young player we have brought in that offers us energy levels that we are currently missing from the squad. He is a central midfielder who likes to get forward like Kaya, is technically good and comfortable on the ball. Wealso welcome back another new signing in Calvin Payne, as well as Mark Hemingway and Brandon Gredziak this Saturday who have been missing this weekend, so in theory we are back up to full strength this weekend which will be a big positive going into another Durham Derby against Durham United.
JS - We go again on Saturday for another derby game, this time at home to Durham United. How determined is the squad and the backroom staff to right the wrongs of Annfield Plain?
WG - The players were just as gutted as myself, as we felt Saturday was a massive chance to turn our season round but we have plenty of games left to save this season. We are competing in games and hopefully we aren’t waiting too long to get some points on the board, this season was all about stability and becoming a settled squad and after 5 games this squad is starting to become that the ship is steading. I think we, as a club, have taken massive steps on and off the pitch to ensure we can now get this ship sailing again.
JS - As ever, your message to the fans.
WG - On Saturday with Leyburn Grove pitch being a distance away from the changing room we were told to stay out by the officials, so we had our half time team talk outside in the dugout. I felt our pace had dropped off the last 5 mins of thefirst half when we conceded a soft penalty to make it 1–1. So I felt the players deserved to be told off for that. Now I have not had to do that before in any game but obviously in the open elements it wasn’t the best of ideas and I apologise to the supporters of having to listen to that and it won’t happen again. What I won’t apologise for is my passion and pride for this Club to succeed and what standard I expect the players to play at and make sure that they don’t drop that standard, so hopefully we move on from that and it’s a lesson learnt and we get to see a decent crowd down Saturday for what will be another thrilling Durham derby against Durham United at Leyburn Grove on Saturday 2pm KO to cheer the players on.
And there we have it the main man has spoken. as Wayne is said, next game is against Durham united which is a second derby in three games. Our attendance numbers are growing gradually and we thank the die-hard Citizens for turning up and braving allthe elements. We will strive to bring you the first points of the season come the weekend and push ourselves up that table. Morior Invictus!