The team talks might not be getting any easier for Mickey Demetriou when he steps in as captain for Andrew Crofts, but the centre-half certainly didn’t mince his words when discussing another resolute defensive performance at Oldham Athletic.
County’s defensive unit once again had to be on top form to help the team secure their fourth successive league victory, with Oldham realistically only having three clear sights at goal during the contest.
Joe Day remained on his feet to thwart Dan Gardner after the midfielder’s mazy run in the first-half, whilst he also denied Latics substitute Jose Baxter on two occasions late on.
The trio of Demetriou, Fraser Franks and Scot Bennett were mostly responsible for Oldham failing to create any more sights at goal, although it was a whole-team effort in stopping the Latics.
That resilience ultimately paid dividends at the other end as well when Tyreeq Bakinson struck his first professional goal with 20 minutes remaining.
Bakinson’s goal twinned with County’s first clean sheet on the road since March secured all three points, and with it, a maiden victory away at Boundary Park.
Here, read what Demetriou exclusively told iFollow Exiles following the conclusion of the game.
On County’s inaugural victory away at Oldham Athletic …
"A victory like this means we can play either the pretty side of football or the ugly side of football.
"We had to dig deep today because Oldham were a very good side, we knew they’d be a good side beforehand because we’d watched them before and they have got some good players.
"They put the ball into the box at important times, but we dealt with everything today. I think Joe Day probably had two or three saves to make which weren’t comfortable, as well as coming out to collect numerous crosses which massively helps the back-five as we were today."
"This result is massive and hopefully not many other teams come here and win. It would then show we’ve done a good job."
On Tyreeq Bakinson’s first ever professional goal…
"It’s nice that he scored, I’m really happy for him.
"Tyreeq has obviously played well the last four or five games since he came in and he deserved that goal today. He may say himself that he wasn’t performing at his best first-half but as long as he carries on for the team, works hard for us, then that’s all we can ask for.
"There are 11 men out on that pitch but today Tyreeq proved what a player he is, and he’s scored the winner for us. It’s about time we had that clinicality [to take our main chance when it came.]
"So many times in the past, we’ve had those chances and we haven’t taken them, a few last season, maybe a couple already this year as well but it’s nice to say that we took our chance today and it was a great finish.
"It was a great ball by Dan Butler, hopefully we can have many more like that because they are so important.
"But the most important thing is the clean sheet as well, that’s the most important thing for us as a back-five because clean sheets help us win games. We always know we’re going to create some kind of opportunity and hopefully like today we take one.
"We created a few more as well, the Oldham goalkeeper has made more saves than Joe, so I do think we created more chances and thankfully we took one of them."
On that clean sheet being the first one away since March…
"I didn’t know it was that long if I’m honest. I didn’t realise the last away clean sheet we kept was March but no, if we keep winning games then the clean sheets might go under the radar. But they are massive for us.
"The clean sheet was massive because it got us the three points today. If we concede then we draw the game so hopefully there will be many more to come this year, both away and home, and then we can build on that as a team.
"We know if we build from the back then we can create chances, our strikers are top quality, our midfield is top quality and we’ve shared the goals around this year.
"I’m still waiting to get one, hopefully it will come soon, but we know someone will score. We know someone in the team will take a chance that we get and if we keep getting clean sheets, we’ll take 1-0 every day of the week."
On once again deputising as captain…
"The team talks aren’t getting easier, I messed up a little bit today and gave the lads something to laugh about.
"I put the point across which I wanted to make second time around and look, if I mess up every team talk that I do but we go out and get three points then I’ll keep doing it.
"It’s not really anymore special [winning a game as captain.] It’s just an armband at the end of the day, yes it’s nice to be captain at the moment but when Crofty comes back from injury I’ll relinquish that armband back over to him.
"I don’t need to say much in the team talk to be fair. We’ve got a great group, we know we’re good enough and the point I was trying to make in the team talk was about us proving why we’re second in the league.
"We did that today, another three points away from home, and hopefully we can have many more like that this year."
On Tuesday’s tie with Swindon Town in the CheckaTrade Trophy…
"It’s a nice break from the league if we’re probably being honest. It gives us a little rest from the league, the pressure won’t be off though as we want to do well in the competition.
"We’re out of the Carabao Cup now so we want to get to the latter stages of this competition. Last year, we didn’t do very well but we want it this year.
"For the game, we’ll have to see whether the gaffer keeps the same squad or he might make a couple of changes to give the boys a few minutes. We’ll have to wait and see on that but I’m sure whoever goes out there will give 100% for the team.
"I’m not particularly fussed on having a rest to be honest with you. If the gaffer comes to me and says that he wants to play, then I’ll obviously play and put in a performance for the team.
"We know Swindon are a very good team. We played really well against them last year, took all six points off them, so hopefully we can start off against them this year by winning a game in the cup and getting a couple of points in the group stage of the competition as well."
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