Shot stopper Max O'Leary shares his thoughts ahead of Saturday's Sky Bet League One trip to AFC Wimbledon.
22-year-old Max talks to the press after having not played for almost two weeks due to the International break. "We didn't actually have too much time off because we were in training which I think was a good thing. But we just want to get back out and play, it's been nearly two weeks since we had a game so we're looking forward to the game on Saturday." Max said.
Town have one of the best defensive records in the league so far with conceding only one against MK Dons and three at Ipswich. Max is impressed with the start. He said; "It's been a good start overall. We've had a few clean sheets and haven't conceded many goals, bar Ipswich which didn't help that record. But I think it's been a good start so far and as a defensive unit, we're happy."
Max is on a season-long loan from Championship side Bristol City. Max has had to adapt the way Town are playing at the back. "It's a change for me, I've come from playing four at the back last year to playing three at the back this year. It's good personnel, we all get on well on the pitch and off the pitch. We've got a good understanding too."
The International break has helped Town to rest and recuperate, allowing players such as Ollie Norburn and Ro-Shaun Williams to come back into training. "It has been beneficial. We had a weekend where we had no game, but we still had the cup game during the week. So, the boys that needed minutes, got them. We've worked hard over the last four to five days and it has been a really good bonding time for us, like a mini pre-season. With a lot of hard work and we've got two new faces in as well, so to get them integrated into the group, it's been good, and I think it has been beneficial."
Town's two new strikers, Callum Lang and Jason Cummings will both be involved in Town's game at Wimbledon. Max tells us how well they have both settled in. "They both bring different aspects to our game and the way that we can play. Langy's young and got a lot of energy and he's a good finisher. Jase is experienced, he's played a lot of games and he brings a different dynamic. They're both looking sharp and that's good for us."
Wimbledon have had a tough start to the season and losing to their rivals, MK Dons. "We go out with the same attitude and mindset. We look to go out and win every game whether you do that in a different way against one team, then another, then that maybe it. I don't think that there should be that sort of changed mindset for us."
Max turns 23 next month and at this age with being on loan at Town and it being his very first league loan move, he says it is very important. "We were looking to do it last year, but circumstances changed things and it wasn't meant to be. I got a few games at Bristol City, so this is my first league loan and it's an important stage for me. So far, I'm enjoying it and settling in well."
Town's number one for this season is Max and with the form that he is in, he has a bright future ahead. "Everyone looks to go out on loan and play games. That's what I'm looking to do. Murph's here as well and he pushes me all the way. He's a great trainer from what I've seen. He's experienced and there's a lot I can learn from him, different bits I can take and try to adapt and take it into my game."
Max is eligible to play for Republic of Ireland after his Grandad, on his dads' side, is Irish. In summer, Max had the chance to go out and train with ROI after being noticed by them. "I went out and trained in the summer. I went for a few days and trained in Portugal with them. I've spoken to Mick about it and he just said if you want to try and be eligible to play for Ireland then we can try and make that happen. I went out and trained, it was a good experience for me, and I knew a few people out there which made it easier."
"I don't have an Irish accent; my Grandad is Irish. He was born there, and he does have an Irish accent, I know that doesn't mean anything." Max jokes.
Town will look to return home on Saturday with all three points. "We've got a good squad; everything is in place here. We've got a good squad, good manager, coaching staff and everyone around the club seems to be a good fit. Hopefully, we can get some more good results and climb up the table."