Midfielder delighted to end winless streak
Huddersfield Town midfielder Adam Clayton admitted that the result was all-important after the Terriers broke a 10-game winless streak with victory in the FA Cup at Charlton Athletic this afternoon.
“I don’t think we were too bothered about the performance today; I think it was just about winning a game,” Clayton told htafc.com. “Now we have done, the shackles will start to come off the boys a little bit and we’ll start to play like we were at the beginning of the season. That win was the most vital part of today.
“We had a game-plan. Passion, enthusiasm, having a bit more about us and showing that desire to win were the phrases used before the game and I think we showed that. We dug in, got the goal early doors and from then on in I don’t think Charlton really pushed us for a goal. I thought we controlled big parts of the game.
“It was a good performance and at the end of the day it’s a win. Now we have done that, we should start playing flowing football again.
“We’ve battled against a team that prides itself on its battling qualities and now we’ve won we move onto next weekend’s game against Birmingham. We beat them earlier in the season, so now we can move into that game with renewed confidence. “
As well as the win, the 23 year-old explained that the clean sheet was another welcome bonus.
“The clean sheet is another major thing for us. We had to defend quite well today because we gave away a few free kicks around the edge of the area and I thought ‘Gez’ (Anthony Gerrard) and the Skip (Peter Clarke) were different class when it came to heading things away.”
Town had to show real steel to record that clean sheet, with the red card shown to Dorian Dervite around the hour mark signalling a more direct approach from the Addicks.
Clayton continued: “The guy (Dorian Dervite) made a mistake – he miss-kicked it. Once he brought Jermaine down he has prevented a goal-scoring opportunity, so it’s a red. I actually think it hurt the game a little bit – I was enjoying it and it killed it a bit for us too.
“The red seemed to give them a renewed vigour to work a little bit harder, so credit to them. For the last 10 minutes they put us under the cosh, but we dug in and got through it. It’s a nice feeling to know we can do that, because it was a kick in the ‘you-know-whats’ to concede when Blackpool put us under that pressure on Boxing Day.”
Clayton clipped the ball into the path of Jermaine Beckford for the 11th minute goal that decided the tie and explained that it is a joy to play behind the former Leeds United man, as well as his strike partner James Vaughan.
“You know if you get the ball right, it is a goal. It’s the same with ‘Vaughany’ – they are Premier League strikers. I’ve just read that ‘Becks’ has scored 16 goals in 16 FA Cup starts and I don’t think anyone in the world will have a record like that, so we’re lucky to have someone with that ability.
“He’s very sharp; his movement is brilliant, as is ‘Vaughany’s’. If you can get the ball into them with a bit of quality, which we will start doing again, they will score some goals.
“Jermaine is brilliant around the place. He’s actually older than I thought he was – he’s quite an experienced person to have around and he’s good at getting in and amongst the lads. He likes a laugh and a joke, but he also keeps himself to himself. People who have achieved what ‘Becks’ has could be arrogant, but that’s not the case with him – he’s as down to earth as anyone.”
The midfielder also played in the crushing 6-1 New Year’s Day defeat at Leicester City and explained that was the final straw as far as the players were concerned.
“I was particularly down after the Leicester game. I don’t like losing, never mind 6-1 to players I grew up playing alongside, like Danny Drinkwater. The manner in which we lost that game upset me a little bit, but we’ve come to a tough place in Charlton and won the game – that’s all you can do.
“We had words in the week, all together and in house, and that has helped us. A few things were said that needed to be said, because our squad wants to stay in the Championship and push on to the Premier League – it’s important to our careers. There’s a lot at stake and it matters to people.
“We are a unit and we’re playing as a team again, so I think we’ll kick-on now to where we want to be.”
Town will be represented by ball number seven in Sunday afternoon’s FA Cup Fourth Round draw and admitted he wouldn’t mind a trip back to his former club!
“I’m not too fussed really, but one of the coaches – Steve Eyre – and I wouldn’t mind a trip to Manchester City; there are a few connections there and it would be a nice evening for us! If we can get the worst team in the competition and progress to the next round we’ll take that, but a big side would be very nice as well.”
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