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Adam El-Abd Post Port Vale

28 November 2016

Skipper's thoughts after the draw with Vale

Town earned a hard fought home draw to derby rivals Port Vale on Saturday.

The point will be welcome to Paul Hurst’s men who had lost their last two league matches to Sheffield United and Fleetwood.

Experienced centre half Adam El- Abd joined Town in the summer window and has been ever present in the heart of defence ever since.

After the goalless draw on Saturday El-Abd spoke to the press:

“It was one of them proper derby games; we’ll take the positives and move onto the next one. It was a tough game, they gave as good as they got.

“We perhaps could’ve nicked it- so we’re a little bit disappointed we didn’t get all three points. But if the luck was against us it could have been zero. It was one of those games which is very close.

“We can build on the clean sheet and the solid base which we had today and hopefully build on that for the weeks to come and get some wins under our belt.”

El-Abd has made 19 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring two goals, and he almost grabbed the winner on Saturday after being played through by Junior Brown.

“To be honest, I should’ve scored. I’m not going to lie I was gutted as I was running back to the centre circle.

“It just got stuck under my feet when it came to me, and I’m probably the last person you want it to fall to, but unfortunately it fell to me.”

Town suffered their second loss under Paul Hurst on Tuesday night, losing 3-0 away at Fleetwood.

“We weren’t quite at it on Tuesday night, it was disappointing and it was a bitter pill to swallow. The gaffer let us have it, and rightly so.

“We gave away some soft goals at crucial times. “They were avoidable goals, ones that if we’d been a little bit more savvy, a little bit more streetwise they don’t happen.

“It was a good response from the boys today, it was a better performance, it wasn’t perfect, we’re not singing and dancing by any means but it’s a step in the right direction.

El-Abd has struck up a solid partnership at the centre of defence with Mat Sadler in recent games. A partnershi which has seen Town keep four clean sheets in the seven games since the new manager’s arrival.

Between them the duos have over 800 professional games under their belt and El-Abd paid tribute to his defensive partner after Saturday’s game:

“Since Sads has come in he’s been absolutely fantastic. He reads the game very well and he’s a great talker. Which isn’t something you necessarily see from the stands, he’s your eyes and ears when your back’s turned which is a big part of football.

“When he’s been out the side he’s done his running, he’s got his head down and he’s been in the gym- he’s trained so hard. And then he’s come into the team and made a big, big impact.

“I’m glad that he’s having his rewards out on the pitch. He’s a good example to all the young players that if you work hard you get your rewards.”

Town sit bottom of League One after 20 games and El-Abd is under no illusions on what he and the rest of the team will have to do in order to turn their fortunes around.

“I think we’ve got to stick together and show the fight that we’ve shown today in the derby game. This is the fight that we should show every game as a minimum, every game is a derby game for us now, fact.

“It’s a long season and there’s still 26 games to go, so it’s not panic stations just yet. There’s a good group of professionals in there who know the situation we’re in and we’ll be doing our upmost to give it our all in the coming games.

Town’s next game comes in the FA Cup against Fleetwood at the Greenhous Meadow. Ed-Abd said ahead of the cup tie:

“The cup game is obviously a break from the league and we’ll be giving it our all to stay in the competition.

“But if I’m totally honest the three wins we’ve had in cup competitions, I’d change them for league wins and be out of all the cups. We’ve got to realise the league is the most important thing.

“It’s nice to play well in the cups, which we’ll obviously try to do next week because we owe Fleetwood one from Tuesday night.”


 


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