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James: "I am really happy to be playing first team football again."

4 February 2017

Reds midfielder Matty James spoke to the press following an excellent performance in the centre of the pitch against Preston North End at Oakwell.

The midfield enforcer started and finished the game, showing composure and calmness on the ball.

On today’s game, James said, “It was a difficult and end-to-end but the ball was going there in the air. There was a lot of second balls, headers, stuff like that so it was a frustrating game.

“There were a lot of free-kicks and there were little bits where we thought let the game play, to try and get a flow to the game but again it made it frustrating because I felt when the game was stopped we were just starting to get on top but the little stoppage would kill us a little bit.

“We had the better chances in their half, the one at the far post and a couple of other efforts, a few crosses that have gone across the face, then the ‘keeper has saved a few. I would say we deserved more from the game.”

Preston arrived at Oakwell with a very direct style of play, which meant the Reds had a lot to deal with in aerial battles. In the remaining moments of the second half, the Reds backline which then included James had to be alert to deal with the danger.

“They got it forward quickly, trying to get it into the box and we had to stay concentrated. If we weren’t going to win the game, definitely don’t lose it, so we picked up the point and dug deep at the end when we needed to.”

Having played three matches in a week since joining on loan from the Premier League champions, James is delighted to be back on the pitch again. He was part of a group of players who arrived together at Oakwell during the back-end of the January window and James now feels it will take time for them all to get used to one another’s style of play.

“For me personally it’s amazing, I am really happy to be playing first team football again, so to get three games in a week is really good. It has took its toll a little bit but I am now excited to get another weeks training and go to Reading away. I was a bit worse for wear on Tuesday night but I recovered and I will make sure everything is done right again my recovery to go again when we train next week.

“There are a couple of players in the team who haven’t played in a while, there are a couple who have just come in so we need to gel in certain areas which will take time but we have shown some good resilience out there today and hopefully we can continue to start getting better results both home and away.”

The Reds sit 9th in the Championship table which shows a fantastic return following promotion last season.

“The reason why we’re in this position is the togetherness and the willingness to do things for each other. The effort that everyone gives on matchdays and in training, the staff, backroom staff and every other person at this Club will give 100% and I think they’ve earned the right to be where they area.

“The spirit has been excellent and that’s not just the players, that’s the staff here as well. Overall it has been really tight knit, there is a togetherness and understand of what is expected of each other both on and off the pitch.

“I want to try and get as many starts as I can, get as much game time as I can and do as well as I possibly can for this Football Club. They’ve shown a great belief in taking me after the injury I had and I want to repay that as much as I can.”

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