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Corey: "I Have Never Seen A Team Spirit Like This"

14 January 2020

Since joining the club on a season-long loan from Birmingham City in the summer, there is little doubt that Corey O'Keeffe has excelled in the fourth tier.
Committed and innovative in his play, Corey gives the squad a potent new dimension - both in a defensive and offensive sense.
This was exemplified once again during last Saturday's Sky Bet League Two clash against Oldham Athletic, where Corey produced another sublime performance which proved to exhilarate the Moss Rose faithful.
Make no mistake, Corey is a born winner and this was highlighted post-match, when he reflected on the point gained -
"I feel like we could have got more from the game.
"Obviously given the circumstances and with equalising late, it was good to get a point - but the longer that the game went on, the more we thought that we would win it.
"Even after they scored, we were confident.
"You saw our pressure in the last five or ten minutes - we were all over them!
"So we were unlucky not to get the win, but will take the point".
Saturday's contest was certainly an intensely hard-fought affair, with the outcome on a knife-edge throughout.
The flow of the game swung in a pendulum-like manner from the first minute until the last and as such, there were periods where the Silkmen stars had to defiantly repel all that was thrown at them.
The Birmingham-loanee undeniably played a crucial role in both nullifying the threat that Oldham posed, as well as spearheading the transition from defence to attack -
"We knew what they were going to be like - when they get on the front foot they are really good and we knew that they would press us.
"But we did well to weather the storm and then countered to put them on the back foot.
"So it was a very up and down game, but I thought that we dealt with them well."
For many sides, conceding in the 85th minute proves to be terminal. Yet this only served to catalyse this special group of players into an odds-defying crusade in pursuit of another dramatic victory.
Parity was restored in the first minute of added time, when the referee adjudged that the ball was handled on the line by David Wheater.
Joe Ironside bravely stepped up to take the resultant penalty and despite the incredible pressure which was placed on him, the Yorkshireman converted with calmness and authority.
This came as no surprise to Corey, who was eager to pay tribute to the incredibly hard-working striker -
"You see it week in week out and he produces each time.
"I had every confidence that Joe would step up to score and he's done the business for us."
Even though time was firmly against us, there was never any question of Macc just sitting back and accepting a share of the spoils.
Instead, siege was laid on the Oldham goal as we gallantly sought a winner.
Although numerous guilt-edged chances were created, the referee's whistle would ultimately bring our spirited quest to an end.
Given the opportunities which were presented to us throughout the game, we asked Corey whether or not the ultimate outcome could be assessed as two points dropped rather than one point gained.
He addressed this notion candidly and with a great deal of maturity -
"Obviously you could say that it was two points dropped, but we have done well to come back from one-nil down and have dominated much of the game.
"Maybe we deserved the three points, but at the end of the season we will have that extra point on the board and it could be crucial."
It is often stated that adversity brings out true character - both individually and collectively.
Indeed, the team spirit amongst the squad is something which has acted as a beacon of light over recent weeks and Corey was eager to highlight just how engrained this is -
"There have been a lot of things going on and we have just stayed close the whole time.
"We know that we are in this together - everyone has been great.
"I have never seen team spirit like this - we are like a family.
"We are really close together and that shows on the pitch through our performances as we all fight for one another."
In addition to the blue and white clad heroes who walk through brick walls for us on the pitch, our loyal fans are part of our fight as much as anyone.
Despite the fact that the inclement weather could well have persuaded many to remain in their warm armchairs, the Silkmen faithful once again turned up in their numbers and passionately willed the lads on.
The incredible source of inspiration that this generates is tangible - not only in the midst of battle, but also long after the final whistle has been blown.
This is something which every single player and every single staff member values greatly and Corey was eager to pay tribute to all those who stood united with us once again -
"They were excellent as always - they always give us a big buzz.
"Obviously if there is a few hundred fans then it's hard to get motivated, but here it's like a fortress and the fans keep us going.
"They push us on every single game."
Corey epitomises the pride, passion and defiance which infiltrates throughout the whole team.

He is a true asset to our Football Club and for someone so young, is unquestionably conducting himself in a manner far beyond his tender years. 

In many ways, Corey exemplifies why we all fight for this team with everything we have - as when you see the mental and physical battles which he and the rest of the squad are winning every single week, it really is impossible not to.



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