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  • Writer's pictureBy Yann Tear at Gander Green Lane

Still bottom, but Sutton boss sees much to enthuse about in his side's fight

Matt Gray's message to the fans after his side's 1-1 draw with Tranmere is: "Stick with us, there's a long way to go."

Louis John's late equaliser gave the U's a share of the spoils in a clash between two of the three teams occupying the last places in League Two at start of play.

The point was not enough to hoist Sutton off the foot of the table, but it did extend the mini run of unbeaten games to four matches and sent a message of defiance to any supporters wavering in their faith.

"Some things in the first half, I wasn't happy about but I thought second half we really kept pressing and looking as though we were going to be the team to get the next goal in the game," the U's boss said. "From being behind, you certainly take the draw.

"It's another point on the board for us. The most important thing is we didn't get beaten after being 1-0 down at half time.

"We are only a third of the way through the season and there's so much football to play and the performances recently have been really good. We are four unbeaten now and there's a good atmosphere in the changing room and you see the togetherness and attitude in that second half to grind out a point

"We are right in games and have turned a corner. In the last six, that's probably the worst one from us, I'd say, but still we've not lost the game - that's definitely a positive sign.

"The players certainly still believe and there's so much football still to play. It's not been a great start for us but I really feel we're really turning a corner with our performances."

Gray added: "I think that's three in four games weeks where we've had late goals but I think that shows our fitness levels to keep plugging away.

"It was the only league game on in London today and it was a good crowd with a good atmosphere, I felt, so hopefully they will come back again.

"We feel the fans are behind us. We've had four and a half years of pure success. We've had a little bit of a bump in the road and not a great couple of months but they can sense we've turned the corner a little bit and they're right behind us."

Sutton's next game is at Grimsby, who started the day in the bottom four, so that should be another important game. But Gray is mindful that the impending FA Cup tie against Barnsley also matters and refuses to get too obsessed with the league table.

"The finances are absolutely vital," he said. "We've got one of the smallest budgets in the football league, so for us to try and have a run in this competition to generate money could prove pivotal to help me strengthen the squad in January, so it's a very big competition for us."


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