Yeovil Town midfielder Jake Gray spoke to local journalist Chris Spittles, in an interview for BBC Somerset, after his side had beaten Exeter City 3-1 on Saturday 23rd December 2017.
CS: Jake, a great performance today, and a deserved three points.
JG: Yes, I think today everything came together. The boys put in an unbelievable shift. Not only that but we've had quality today, and we've had some brilliant goals.
CS: Tell us about your goal. Terry Skiverton has just said you've been preparing for that all week by putting pressure on the opposition, and he said you actually scored from training in a very similar position.
JG: Yes, I think a couple of the boys were saying that I got a little bit of a gift, but it's all interception knowledge and all that! But no, I was lucky that it fell to me, and I just shifted it and put it in the corner. So yes, it was a good goal.
CS: It was a feature of the first half, with the amount of pressure that you were putting on their players in possession to win the ball back, wasn't it?
JG: Yes, I think that was our game plan throughout the week, to put them under pressure, and whip the ball high up the pitch. So I think we put it into practice today and it worked out well.
CS: What did you make of the atmosphere today? A much bigger crowd than in recent weeks, and really receptive to the work you were putting in on the pitch today.
JG: Yes definitely; I think they are unbelievable. We could hear them out on the pitch, keeping us going. It was a brilliant arena to play in today, so we all enjoyed it.
CS: The third goal was very important to calm the nerves towards the end. Just tell us, who is the penalty taker? There's obviously Otis, Francois and Sam Surridge. What's the situation now?
JG: I think it's whoever fancies it at the time. If Otis is on the pitch, then I think Otis is taking it, and it would be hard to get it off him. But I think both Zokes and Sam wanted it. But I think he's just had a word with him. Sam is confident enough to take it, and he slotted it right in the corner.
CS: For a young lad, it was very calm, stepping forward for that, wasn't he?
JG: Yes definitely. He's got an old head on his young shoulders. Sam has been different class since he's come to the club. He's a really confident lad, and he put it in the bottom corner.
CS: After Mansfield last weekend, which was a good performance and you got a point, how important was it to get a win? The longer it went on without a win in the league, the more you were starting to get dragged down towards that bottom.
JG: Yes, I think you've got to ask questions as to how much confidence we take from that. I think we should today that we took it on, and really lifted ourselves and kept going. So to put that performance in after Mansfield is absolutely brilliant. We get the three points, which pushes us up the table, which is unbelievable.
CS: You've set the standards now for the second half of the season. This completes the first half, as this is 23 games now. Mansfield and Exeter were good performances, and you need to take that on into 2018.
JG: Yes definitely - we feel like it's clicking now. We've got relationships within the whole team now, with me and Tom on the right side, and Otis and Dicko on the left side. The defence is settled now, so we're really enjoying it. We can push on, and you never know where it can take us. We're in a couple of cup competitions as well, so it's an exciting end to the season.
CS: I'm sure as a footballer it's a question you get tired of answering, but what does Christmas hold for you, and what will be the pattern of work, and time away from the club over the next few days?
JG: I think we've just got to look after ourselves over the next couple of days. After that it's a quick turnaround. We'll not eat too much. We're really looking forward to the Cheltenham game. It's a big one for us.
CS: What about Christmas lunch? Are a few of the lads getting together over Christmas lunch?
JG: We had our Christmas lunch in the week. To be fair, it was really good, so I really enjoyed that one. But everyone has stayed with their families and enjoyed it, and we'll get ready for the game on Tuesday.
CS: Another close game - it's not too far away. It should be a good travelling contingent and a good atmosphere at Whaddon Road.
JG: Yes, I think we got lucky with the fixtures this year. But yes we're looking forward to it. It's a tough place to go to. I've played there, and I've been on loan there as well, so we know what to expect and we have a game plan and we'll hopefully put that in place.
CS: See you there and Merry Christmas.
JG: I just want to put on the record that the win today was for Bruce James - thank you.
Back to Top of Page