FOR me and the rest of the first team it hasn’t been the start to the season that we were all hoping for but the club’s under-18s have been simply awesome this week.
While we were losing 2-0 at home to Wycombe last Saturday, the academy boys were 2-1 winners at Bristol Rovers with goals from Ben Brooks and Tom Owen-Evans.
That was a great result when you consider that they had lost 4-0 at Rovers last season.
But Wednesday’s 7-2 demolition of Plymouth Argyle at Dragon Park was even better.
They were absolutely outstanding. They had a ten-minute wobble where they were 2-0 up and slipped back to 2-2 but after that they got back to the gameplan, listened to what myself and Danny Elliot were telling them, and absolutely destroyed Plymouth with some unbelievable movement.
I think that’s 15 goals in the last few games and they’re taking everything on board.
The front three on Wednesday were unplayable and they are only 16 and 17 but they would have tested most defences with their movement.
I actually let Ben keep the match ball after his hat-trick.
I’m not sure the club will let me give away too many but it’s the first one of the season and it’s a great start.
He’s a good lad and you always want to see your strikers scoring goals but they’ve all worked hard and it was a real team effort.
They’re all taking everything on board and I’ve already had a couple ringing me and texting me because they’re disappointed not to be playing.
But they need to realise that it’s only the first few games and there’s a long season ahead so I’m sure everyone will get their chance.
We won’t win every game – if we did then me and Danny might be headhunted by Liverpool or Man United – but there are a lot of good players in the squad.
And the Dragon Park facility is second to none. There were a lot of big clubs watching in the week so it’s an exciting time for the youth teams.
We’re at home to Swindon at Dragon Park at 10.30am this morning and everyone is welcome to come along and support the boys.
We beat them in a friendly 6-2 the other week and they had a few first team players in that team so we’ll be confident but I’m sure this will be a much tighter game and Swindon will come here looking for revenge so we’ll have to be on our game.
I’ve got a little hamstring strain from training so I won’t be in Morecambe with the first team today.
I need a few days rest so I’ll be concentrating on the under-18s.
It’s a long way to go to Morecambe if you’re not going to be involved and there was no point me risking it and then pulling something and being out for six weeks.
It will give someone else a chance to be on the bench, someone like Kyle Patten maybe, and that’s good for the squad.
I’ll be working with the physio over the weekend and on Monday and hopefully I can be involved at Mansfield on Tuesday.
We were flat last Saturday against Wycombe and it was disappointing for all of us but I’ve heard a lot of rubbish spoken about us not being fit.
That is complete nonsense. The performance was flat but there’s a big difference between not being fit and not being sharp and we just weren’t sharp that day.
But if we’d done our defensive job properly they wouldn’t have had a sniff and it would have ended 0-0.
We’ve got to cut out the errors at the back because we literally handed Wycombe two goals last week – it was nothing to do with fitness.
We were the cause of our own downfall and we’ve got to stop that.
The gaffer got a good reaction on Tuesday and we played well against Reading so hopefully we can take the positives into this weekend.
One of the big positives from the game at the Madejski was a first goal for Shaun Jeffers.
I’m made up for Shaun because he’s a lovely kid and he’s always worked incredibly hard on his game in training.
He’s never sulked when he’s been left out, like all of the squad really. We’ve all worked hard and hopefully three points are just around the corner.