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Perch building towards the next milestone

22 November 2019

James Perch is eager to build on his 400 career league starts, reached in last weekend’s 2-0 win at Leyton Orient, beginning by making it 401 this weekend at home to Port Vale.

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22 November 2019

The 34-year-old is up to 536 appearances, including from off the bench, in all competitions and is happy to have maintained his place in the team following his early season suspension.

Speaking to iFollow Iron, he said: “It’s good. It’s something you don’t look at until it comes up. I saw it the other day and I was surprised. 

“It’s a good number to reach and I’m proud of it. I just want to play as many games as I can and I think I’m well over 500 in total now.”

The versatile player, who has predominantly played at right-back so far in this campaign, had double cause for celebration too after the Iron won on the road in the league for the first time since January.

Having been part of the side throughout the 10 months without three points away from the Sands Venue Stadium, he continued: “It was a good win last week and a good all-round performance. It was good on the defensive side and attacking-wise we looked good. 

“It was something that we needed to get off our back and I thought we did it perfectly. It’s been a tough spell, going into away games with that monkey on your back. It’s not nice because you want to win every game, so when it doesn’t come off when you play well, it can be down heartening.”

The Valiants arrive in North Lincolnshire having not won at the Sands Venue Stadium in their six visits, although they’ll be buoyed by their latest form which has seen them win their last four matches in all competitions.

“When you win away, it is always good because usually there’s a home game straight after, so to couple it up with a home win would be perfect and top off a good couple of weeks,” said Perch. 

“The result last Saturday won’t mean anything if we don’t turn up this Saturday. It’s good when you look at the runs that we’re on. At home we’ve been a threat, scoring a lot of goals and winning games. Confidence around the stadium shows and teams come to us thinking they’re in for a tough game. 

“Port Vale will be try to make it difficult, but we’re high on confidence after doing well over the last few weeks. They’re coming to us and we know what we can do at home - hopefully we can do that again.”

The last two games, against Sunderland in the Trophy and at Orient last weekend, Perch has been deployed in central midfield following the injury list growing in that department.

While most of his United appearances have come in defence, the former Newcastle United and Nottingham Forest man is no stranger to that position.

15 games into his personal campaign came his first yellow card last weekend - something he admits he’s worked on and adapted his game towards trying to avoid.

“It’s been good. We’ve won both games I’ve played in that position this season, so I’m confident and happy,” he stated. 

“There’s been a bit of a crisis in that position and the gaffer has called on me to step in there. 

"I’ve tried to make a conscious effort not to go to ground and not to do things like I used to. The game is evolving and maybe I hadn’t and it has cost me a little bit. It’s not something I’m proud of to get a lot of yellow cards, but I do base my game on winning the ball back and being competitive. I have had to adapt my game.”

See much more from James Perch and Paul Hurst on iFollow Iron. Click here to sign-up.

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