Martin Badger Baker talked to midfielder Paul Terry on October 6th 2003; two days after the 3-1 defeat at Cheltenham
Photo © 2019
MB: Saturday was obviously a very disappointing result. Can you get any positives out of that?
PT: I think there are some positives. I thought we played reasonably well, but we just werent clinical enough in their box. They didnt have many chances but the chances they had, they took and we didnt. As for possession, I thought wed played quite well as we had a lot of possession, but in the end its all about being clinical in the penalty box.
MB: It was an unusual position for you to come on to wasnt it?
PT: Yes it was unusual. Ive maybe played at full-back maybe once or twice before. It took me a little while to get my bearings but Im just pleased to be out there and playing. If thats where Im asked to play, then Ill play there. Ill play anywhere as long as Im getting a game!
MB: I presume youve had time to watch the video now. Has anyone had any theories on why we are being so inconsistent? The performances against Boston and Mansfield were very professional werent they?
PT: Thats right; thats exactly what were trying to work out right now. Were just trying to work on getting that consistency to be with us all the time. Weve had it at some stages this season, particularly when we went four games without defeat and without conceding a goal. Youve got to have some consistency about you to be able to do that. But with games like Saturday and when we lost 4-1 at Macclesfield maybe weve shown the odd sign of being unprofessional. Its something that we are looking to put right, but its a matter of putting our finger on exactly what it is. Weve watched the videos, so we know the mistakes we are making and so its a matter of getting back on the training pitch with the manager and putting them right.
MB: I suppose at least the good thing is that with the exception of Hull City, who are in great form, no-one else is really pushing the boat out.
PT: No-one has really got away from us yet, and that was another positive thing in that although weve dropped down to sixth now, were still only two points off second place. With the exception of Hull who are on an amazing run at the moment, beating everybody, were keeping in touch with everybody else. A win on Saturday and weve got another chance of going second again. Its important for us that when we do lose, even though theres no positives to take out of the result itself, that we keep our spirits high and dont lose touch with the top three. Thats where the club deserves to be, so its important that we perform on a Saturday and during midweek to keep us up there.
MB: Going back to how you joined Yeovil, how long had you been with Dagenham before you arrived?
PT: I was at Dagenham for about five and a half years. I joined them when I was about 17 or 18 years old. It was just recently that there was a little bit of talk about me going to Yeovil, but it died down and just as I thought it wasnt going to happen all of a sudden it just happened. Next thing I knew I was training with the boys, signed up on the Wednesday and was playing for the Reserves on the Wednesday night. It all came about very quickly in the end, but it was what I really wanted. It is a massive club, that is run really well. The manager and Steve Thompson are really great to work with and Im really enjoying it at the moment.
MB: Do you have any high points at Dagenham that you can recall? You had some great cup runs.
PT: Yes, we had some great FA Cup runs; we had three on the trot. They were all high points and getting to the Fourth Round last season was a definite high point. The low points were losing to Boston on goal difference and then losing to Doncaster in the playoff final last season. It was a high point to be there, but obviously not getting the result at the end of it all turned it into a low point. But it was good to be there and it gives me a little bit more experience for next time.
MB: So did you start your career at Dagenham?
PT: No, I started at Charlton Athletic. I was there from when I was 14 years old. I didnt get offered a professional contract there, so I went to Millwall. They had just gone down to Division Two and I think they wanted experienced players to get them out of Division Two and back into Division One so I was a bit unfortunate there. In the end I moved on to Dagenham.
MB: You didnt run into Ronnie Bull whilst you were at Millwall did you?
PT: Yes, he knows my brother-in-law so I have run into him. Funnily enough the day that he came down, I had travelled home the night before to spend a bit of time with my wife and baby. When I was coming back, the gaffer rang up and asked if Id mind picking him up on the way through. Because I knew him that wasnt a problem! It was quite weird because all hed said initially was to pick up a lad from Millwall. I asked who it was, and of course I knew him.
MB: I guess it must help when a player is new to a club to have someone they know who can lead them around in their first week.
PT: Yes, I was quite lucky like that, because Id travelled with the England Non-League team. So I knew Johno, Darren, Skivo, Wealey and Jacko so by the time I came down here, I knew a few of them quite well anyway.
MB: Was that a big influence in deciding whether to take up the offer?
PT: I dont know. I think I would have made the move anyway. It is a big club and it seems to be going places and hopefully I can be part of that.
MB: You had those playoff games last season for Dagenham. I guess its quite realistic that given were hovering between 4th and 6th in the table, that we could end up in something like that this season. Is it a very different environment to play in?
PT: Yes, its nice to be in the playoffs but its terrible if you lose. To lose in a final is bad and I imagine the teams that lost in the semi-final must have been devastated. Theyd worked all season to get into the playoffs but in two 90 minute games their season was over. You think youve got a chance to get up the leagues. Hopefully this season although the playoffs are there, we still want to aim for top three, so hopefully we can so it that way. But if not, I think wed feel confident that we could get into the playoffs and go up anyway. But we dont want to get too far ahead of ourselves at the moment because its a long way away. Weve got to concentrate on being consistent, and making sure that we keep in touch with the leaders. We dont want to get carried away and think were going to get in the playoffs. Although weve got the players that can get there its important that we keep working hard for the team. When it comes round, we will be ready to deal with it.
MB: I suppose that although the defeats weve had were disappointing, you would have taken the position that were in currently as a starting point.
PT: Yes and no. I think if you speak to a lot of the boys, theyre all very confident and theyre all winners. If youd asked them at the start of the season if theyd take a playoff spot, I dont think many of them would have. They all want to win so much and they believe in their own ability and they believe they can get into the top three. Its hard going into a new league and weve learnt a few valuable lessons so far. So may things are not so bad at the moment but were quietly confident that we can get a bit higher than that.
MB: I can hear a little nipper in the background. Have your family moved down into the area yet?
PT: No theyve not moved down yet. My wife and my little girl commute down every week. She comes down on the Saturday or the Sunday and then they go back on the Wednesday, so I get to spend around four days a week with them. They have to go back as my wife is working and she has to be home for Wednesday nights. She works Wednesday until the Saturday and then comes back either Saturday night or Sunday morning.
MB: So I suppose when Gary lays down the law and brings in Sunday training sessions its not the best piece of news!
PT: No its not, but if the gaffer thinks we need to come in, there is a reason behind it. If we dont play well then we have to work on things. Its part of the football life. If you have to train on a Sunday, you have to do it. You still get time to spend with your family afterwards and its important that we put things right on the training pitch before we lose track of things.
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