LAST week’s 0-0 draw with Grimsby was a frustrating time for us but, if the mood on the training ground is anything to go by, we’ll take that out on Tamworth today.
Looking back on it, a point wasn’t a bad result against a good Grimsby side but we were all disappointed to lose top spot to Forest Green Rovers.
They go to Wrexham today so it could be an opportunity for us to overtake them again.
And we’re all raring to go after a great week of training at our old Spytty Park home.
Nothing much has changed at Spytty since I played there over a decade ago.
It’s still windier than a baked bean factory, but thankfully the pitch isn’t too bad at the moment and it’s nice to have a permanent base.
The team last season were going all over the place – Cirencester, Undy, Llantarnam – so the boys really appreciate being able to train at Spytty this season.
It’s good to have a Newport team training in the city and it’s great that the people of Newport are starting to pull together.
We’ve got the rugby and the football working together at Rodney Parade and now the council helping us with training at Spytty.
A lot of teams, even in the Football League, need a bit of help now and again and we’re no different.
It helps bring the lads together and there is a really good team spirit in training. We have a bit of banter and a fair few practical jokes.
The young lads are always chipping away at me, having a go at my receding hairline and telling me I’m an old age pensioner.
Pipey and Aaron O’Connor are the worst, but while he’s banging the goals in I suppose I’ll let him get away with it. Or at least let him think he’s getting away with it.
Tony James is another oldie but he’s quiet. All the boys come for me because of my loud persona.
But Jamo has so many grey hairs he looks like he’s been painting ceilings all night when he comes in in the morning.
On a Friday we have a head tennis competition and it’s getting pretty competitive.
We all get involved but Aaron and Danny Crow are the main men, they’re usually on the winning side.
It looks like we’re just messing about but it does actually help improve the touch.
The young lads need a bit of practice because it’s us older heads who are the best.
Jake Harris has got a lot to improve on and Lee Evans is the worst head tennis player I’ve ever seen.
I’ve been doing a bit of extra fitness work with Jimmy Dack away from the rest of the lads and that is starting to pay off now.
I feel comfortable with my endurance but it’s the short, sharp movements and reactions that I feel I can still improve on.
That is the kind of thing that you can’t really replicate when you’re training on your own in the summer.
I’m playing catch-up and I want to get back in the team as quickly as possible.
Hopefully I’ll get a start today.
I don’t mean any disrespect to Tamworth but I don’t know a lot about them, or quite a lot of the teams in this league.
It’s all new for me but no game is going to be easy in this league and we’ve got to make sure we go there with the right attitude.
The gaffer and Dacky have been working hard on that all week and if we can get a win today and against Ebbsfleet on Tuesday it’ll set us up nicely for the trip to Macclesfield next week.
The big news this week was the arrival of Conor Washington. I haven’t seen a lot of him so far but his record suggests he’s a top talent and he’ll be another great addition to the squad.
He’s been fairly quiet in training, as you’d expect coming from a smaller club, and I’m sure he’ll get his head down and concentrate on forcing his way into the team. The gaffer has been pretty selective about who he brings to the club and he’s been proved right on most occasions so I think Conor will do well.
If he keeps scoring at the rate he did for St Ives then he won’t be here long either because he’ll be getting another move.