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Laird: Hope to have done enough

29 November 2013

Marc Laird hopes to be back in from the start against Cheltenham Town

Southend United midfielder Marc Laird hopes his cameo role in Tuesday’s win at Portsmouth has done enough to earn him a recall for Saturday’s home game against Cheltenham Town.

Laird, who started his first game in nearly over three months against York City last weekend, was on the bench for the trip to Fratton Park in midweek.

But he made a big impact after replacing Conor Clifford with 20 or so minutes to go, helping Blues to turn the game on its head and win 2-1.

The 27-year-old said: “It’s just great to be back out on the pitch and three months out. It was a really frustrating time for me.

“It was nice to be back in the starting line-up against York City and it was great to cap that with the three points.

“It was my first start in a long time and I think my sharpness will improve as I get more games under my belt.

“I didn’t train on Monday because a little niggle I picked up on the Saturday, and the gaffer made a decision to put me on the bench.

“What was important was that if I did get a chance I made an impact and hopefully the manager thinks I did that.

“It was a brilliant win for us. Once we got that first goal Pompey seemed scared so it was great to grab the second goal and win the game.”

Laird is well aware of the competition for places among the squad, especially in midfield, and knows when a chance does present itself, it’s one that has to be taken.

It’s also a year since Marc found the back of the net – a 3-1 win against Rochdale on November 24th 2012, and he’d love to get back among the goals soon.

He added: “You’ve got to step up your game at the moment because if you’re not doing what you should be or not performing well, you’ll be out of the side.

“Once you get that opportunity you’ve got to take it and make sure you stay in the team.

“Rochdale about a year ago was my last goal, so it would be nice to add some more goals this season.

“Will (Atkinson) got his first of the season and Luke Prosser has two, so I’m sure he’ll give me a bit of stick.

“It’s important the whole team contribute with goals.”

Despite Cheltenham’s position in League 2, Laird is expecting a difficult game at Roots Hall on Saturday.

“They are similar to Northampton,” Laird said. “They have got a lot of quality in the side but they’ve not made a great start.

“There’s still a long way to go this season and I’m sure they’ll be up there come May. We’ll have to be at our best to beat them.”

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