Newport County AFC have the correct mental toughness to keep on grinding out positive results away from home in League Two, according to defender David Pipe.
A mixture of road closures and Manchester United hosting Juventus in the Champions League caused a lot of traffic in and around Greater Manchester before the game, with it taking five and a half hours for the players coach to arrive at Bury FC.
But the team were quickly able to put all that aside and pick up another notable point against a team who were fourth favourite for an immediate return to League One and had only lost once at home all season.
Jamille Matt’s neat finish from an Antoine Semenyo cross cancelled out Nicky Maynard’s spectacular opener, and with only MK Dons winning out of the sides around the Exiles, the gap to the automatic promotion places remained at one point with County still in fourth position.
After completing his 550th career appearance, you can read exactly what Pipe exclusively told iFollow Exiles after the conclusion of another gritty County performance.
On battling to a draw against Bury FC…
"I think it was more of a character thing tonight – it’s been two tough away trips and especially a long way to come tonight.
"It was five and a half hours on the coach and we had to get out, get our minds focused and then have to come from 1-0 down as well after a poor performance a couple of days ago.
"A lot of lesser teams would crumble but we’ve got more than enough to get a result at a place with attacking wise, one of the best teams I’ve seen in the league.
"It can affect you if you are mentally weak [a long coach trip.] That’s one of our strengths – you can either moan about it and use it as an excuse or knuckle down and get on with it.
"There’s nothing you can do about it, so you might as well get on with it and do the best you can, which I thought we did tonight."
On the goals scored by both teams at The Energy Checks Stadium at Gigg Lane…
"It was a great finish [by Nicky Maynard] but we let him in too easy. We’ll have a little look at the goal, probably conceding too many goals similar to that where we make individual or collective mistakes.
"There’s not many times where we get cut wide open by an amazing piece of play, so we can limit that and we will limit that.
"Nicky Maynard is a good player, I’ve played against him a few times over the years, obviously I’m getting on myself, so I’ve come across his path before.
"He makes good movements as does the other lad up-front, and when Dagnall comes on, he makes some great runs up top. Mayor who plays in the 10 role is very good, turns people and runs at them.
"To be honest, I thought his goal [Jamille Matt’s] was very good on Saturday but the fact we didn’t win probably masked it a little bit.
"He’s done very well in the last few games, won a lot more balls aerially, won the little challenges and he’s thrived off that. Got his just rewards again tonight, got us a good point, and I’m happy for him and hopefully he’ll keep that run going."
On playing as the right-sided centre-back of the defensive three…
"I played in that role for Notts County for about a season and a half.
"It was more a central defender and a sweeper. I enjoy it there, I enjoy the physical side and I like organising. I think I could do a good job there and hopefully I’ve shown that tonight.
"It’s another string to my bow where if we have to do that then obviously I’m available to do that.
"I just want to have an impact on that team [regardless of a specific position.] If I can help the team in any way, then I really don’t care what position I play in. As long as I play well, help others, then that’s good enough for me."
On making his 550th career appearance in Greater Manchester (180 of which for County)…
"I don’t particularly count them or whatever but the good thing that I want to take from that is probably 90% of them are starts.
"That’s a proud thing for me and a start is what I consider to be an appearance. Obviously we all know my past away from the game, I was out for about three or four years all in all.
"That proves I’m a 50 game a season player if I’m fit and I’d like to think if I didn’t make my mistake then I could have got closer up to 1,000.
"I’ll keep going and as long as I can do something similar to tonight by having an impact then I’m good to go for as long as I can. I won’t target any other number [in terms of appearances.] I look after myself to a point where I keep on bettering myself – the gaffer told me my running times in pre-season were better than five years ago.
"That’s the best I can do, look after myself and keep on setting an example for the boys on and off the pitch. Hopefully I’m doing that, and I’ll keep going."
On facing Morecambe at Rodney Parade on Saturday…
"It’ll be a very tough game – they are quite similar to us in that they’ve got a lot of individuals who know exactly how to win football matches. They can go away from home and grind out results, be horrible and they definitely won’t be an easy rollover.
"We’ve got to turn up, be on our game and hopefully we can turn this point at Bury FC into four points from two games.
"Kevin Ellison will always get a mention. I’ve probably played against him 20 times in my career and I’d say he’s a taller version of myself.
"Bit of a pest on the pitch but a very effective player and full credit to him for doing what he’s doing at his age. A bit like myself where you keep defying people, keep going and going and that’s not easy to do as a professional.
"That’s a credit to him and I’ll be trying to wind him up as much as he’ll try to wind us up – don’t worry about that."
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