Defender Darryl Westlake is keen to cement his place in our team over the coming weeks.
The 22-year-old recently extended his loan spell at One Call Stadium until the end of the campaign, having initially joined us on loan from Sheffield United in November.
“I’m pleased to be staying,” said Westlake. “The main reason why I came here is to play games and hopefully that’s what I’m going to continue doing.
“It was a tough test with all the games over Christmas, but I feel sharp and now is the fittest that I’ve been all season.”
Westlake made his 10th appearance for us against Scunthorpe United last Saturday, as our three-match unbeaten streak came to an end courtesy of two goals from Paul Hayes.
“In the three games after [the defeat at] Rochdale, we picked up seven points, which was pleasing, but it was disappointing to lose to Scunthorpe,” continued the full-back.
“We had a couple of chances and if we had taken them then it would have been a different game, but they scored a great goal and it turned the [momentum of the] game.
“We were all up for the game at the start and when you’re on top for the first 15 minutes, but a goal like that goes in, there is nothing that you can really do.
“But I think we still dug deep and maybe we could have got a point at the end of the game.”
Tomorrow, we lock horns with a Portsmouth team who are just three places below us in the Sky Bet League Two table, and Westlake knows it is a very important game.
“They’re in and around us in the table so it’s an important game,” he continued. “We need to pick up points and climb up the table, because we don’t want to keep venturing down.
“Portsmouth can attract a lot of fans [to their games] so it’ll be a tough test for us, but also exciting.”