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Riley raring to go for Saturday's match

4 September 2014

Defender speaks to local media ahead of Saturday's trip to St James' Park.

Defender Martin Riley is confident that our team can improve on their current form - starting this weekend as we face Exeter City at St James' Park.

Riley believes that our matches so far this term have been tight affairs, some of which we have been unfortunate not to take points from.

He said: “We’ve lost two on the bounce now in the league which is not nice at any point, but they've been tight games and they've been very close. We know we’re not far away from picking points up.

“There wasn’t anything in the Burton Albion game and obviously we’re all disappointed that we came off at the end after a 2-1 defeat. We’ve got to go down to Exeter now and put things right and get a result."

Our defeat against Notts County in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy in midweek was hard to take for Riley, but it means that our team can now focus solely on the league.

Riley continued: “I think most players will tell you the same after a defeat, [the dressing room is] always a pretty sombre place. It’s back to the league which is obviously the main aim and we’re looking to put that Burton defeat right on Saturday.

“It’s a tough league, there are no easy games and we know that. We know that we’re going to pick up points along the way. We know individually what we’ve got to do and as a team what we’ve got to do and if we all stick to the principles that we had last year then we’ll be alright.”

The 27-year-old admits he became frustrated after picking up an injury in our Capital One Cup tie against Sheffield United back in August.

He said: “I think I played six 90 minutes in pre-season, which I’ve never done before. You play all those games pre-season and you come in to the first week and you get a little injury.”

“The frustrating thing about it is that I was feeling fit and feeling sharp coming in to the season and then I picked up that little injury in the first week and that’s set me back slightly. It’s nothing to worry about now though, because I'm feeling fit."

Currently in his second spell with us, Riley believes our team need to tighten up from set-pieces.

He added: “I think we have conceded a couple from set-pieces this year. Last year, that was obviously a massive plus point for us. Off the top of my head, I can’t remember a goal that we conceded last year from set-pieces.”

“Everyone knows we’re a big, set-piece team. We score a lot of goals from set-pieces and we’re also good at defending them and that’s not going to change this year. We know how good we are from set-pieces in both boxes and I'm sure that’s going to continue.”

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