MIKE FLYNN SAYS: Conor's got my stamp of approval
11:02am Saturday 28th September 2013 in Sport
ONE player got all the headlines after last week’s win at Exeter and, although it was a great team effort, Conor Washington deserves all the praise he’s been getting.
Conor scored the first goal with a classic poacher’s finish and then made the second goal for Harry Worley and he was outstanding in that game.
The improvement in him over the last few months has been incredible. He’s fitter, stronger, and as soon as he starts taking his chances on a regular basis he will be flying.
I think he’s got a good career ahead of him because he works hard and he listens. He’s never going be first pick in training, as he’ll tell you that himself, but his hard work is paying off.
He’s nowhere near Pipey’s level but his arms and his chest have doubled in size and that’s made him a lot stronger. He’s definitely going to be a handful for every defence in this league.
I like to see nice kids doing well and he was a postman like I was when I was at Newport last time round so he’s got my stamp of approval!
It’s always a good week after you win but we’ve got to make sure we don’t get carried away when we win, just as we don’t get too down when we lose.
We’ve got to be level-headed about it because it’s a long season and if we get too cocky then teams like Torquay, who we face this afternoon, will trip us up.
We will take on board the things we’ve done right and the things we’ve done wrong and learn from winning and losing.
A lot of people have told me this week that the win at St. James’ Park was our first away win in League Two, which is obviously welcome.
But, to be honest, I didn’t realise that we hadn’t won away in the league! So for me it wasn’t an issue.
I have been at clubs where we haven’t won away for a long time and it can affect your mindset so it is good to get that out of the way and get that first win on the road under our belt.
Now we need to kick on and get our home form back to where it should be after the disappointment of the Morecambe game.
We shot ourselves in the foot against the Shrimps – that was a game we should have won – but we weren’t too down because we played well.
It is not as if we’ve been outplayed by anyone this season but the three points were definitely welcome last week.
And you’ve only got to win two or three games in this league and you shoot up the table so if we can get a win today as well it will set us up perfectly for two difficult away games at Bury and Rochdale in the next two weeks.
We’re back on track now and we need to stay on track with three points today.
Personally I think I did OK at Exeter but I know there is more to come from me.
I’m my own biggest critic and I know I started slowly last week, like the whole team really, and I should have scored at least one.
The first one I caught it too clean and it went straight at the ‘keeper but the second one was unlucky. It was a good strike and smashed the post.
On another day both would have gone in and the win would have been a lot more comfortable but the three points was the most important thing and we were all delighted after the game.
Exeter are a good team and they will be up there this season so to go there and get a win and a clean sheet shows what we can do.
The gaffer has been banging the drum about how well we’ve done when you consider the amount of injuries we’ve had, and rightly so.
The youngsters like Conor, Andrew Hughes, Robbie Willmott and Adam Chapman have done superbly for us but it was good to see the old heads like Tony James and Ismail Yakubu back last week as well because their experience will be vital throughout the season.
Competition for places will be great all over the squad when everyone is fit and available.
At the back, as well as Ish and Jamo, there is Byron Anthony to come back and not to forget Andy Sandell.
In midfield hopefully Max Porter isn’t be too far away and Lee Minshull will be back from suspension after today’s match so I know I’ll have to perform well to keep my place.
And up front as well as Conor we’ve got Chris Zebroski doing a lot of hard work for the team and scoring goals as well.
And there’s Danny Crow knocking on the door with Aaron O’Connor and Christian Jolley to come back.
And we all know how deadly those two can be. Just ask Wrexham! So I think we’re looking in pretty good shape.
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