Unfortunately our league game away to Norwich City on the weekend got called off again due to a frozen pitch. On the Thursday afternoon they told us that the game was 90% likely to go ahead, so to find out on Friday morning that the game was off was very disappointing. It seems like we haven’t had a proper competitive match in a long time and with our youth cup game just around the corner, it’s not ideal preparation.
As all of our games have been called off recently, Gary Issott didn’t want us to start losing any of our fitness or sharpness, so he arranged an ‘in-house’ game between ourselves on Saturday instead.
Some pros and some under 16’s played along with us youth team boys. We played a full 90 minute match with linesmen and a referee to re-create a proper match, so it wasn’t a half-hearted training game. We all had to wear our match kit and play it as if it was a proper game.
The game finished 2-1 which shows that it was a competitive game and played with the correct attitude and desire. If the game had finished 9-4 or something similar, it would of shown the exercise to of not been worthwhile, so the low scoring game was a good indicator of the intensity we played at.
Apparently we are due more snow on Tuesday night/Wednesday which will have an effect on our plans for the rest of the week. If the reserve game is still on Wednesday then our youth team league match will remain to be played on Saturday.
If the reserve game is off, then our league match will be moved a day forward to Friday to give us enough time to recover for Monday. I can’t work out what would be more beneficial to us, so we are just going to have to wait and see what happens. What will be, will be.
We are all hoping no more snow falls though because we spent two hours on Thursday morning clearing snow off the first team training pitch. As the weather had made it impossible for us to train at the training ground last week, we have been using the Dome at the National Sports Centre which has been a good facility.
As some people live closer to the Dome than the training ground, they have been going straight there instead of meeting at the training ground first, so they get a little longer in bed. But Gary spoke to them on Wednesday night telling everyone to be at the training ground for 8:15am; we knew they had something exciting in store for us!
It was hard work and took a lot longer than we expected. We ended up clearing snow off the pitch for longer than the first team trained on it, so it shows how hard it was. We were all out there with wheel barrows and spades working tirelessly to help out the first team, so hopefully they appreciated it and it makes them feel like they want to provide us with our long awaited Christmas bonuses… I had eight pairs of boots to clean on Monday!!! Who said footballers had it easy?
With so many games in a short space of time it would be easy to think ahead and start worrying about the Youth Cup game already. We have been told time and time again to worry about what’s immediately in front of us, and worry about the game when it comes round.
Charlton will be a tough game for us so if we are not fully focussed we won’t come away with a good result. We want to do well in the league as well and have privately set our own targets, so we must make sure we are concentrated enough to reach them.
Regardless of the game being on played on Friday or Saturday, we will still be in on Sunday for a recovery session in preparation for the Youth Cup. We will most likely have a stretching session and go for a swim before looking at some video footage of Derby County. Against Bristol City the video work we did really helped us so hopefully we can take even more out of it this time around.
We played Derby right at the start of the season and came away with a draw, so we’re already aware of them and the style of football they play. We feel we are a much better team now than we were at the start of the season as we are now playing to our strengths and sticking to what we do best.
Since we played them last we have changed personnel, changed our defensive tactics and changed our formation so hopefully we now have the upper hand.
In the only other news from the training ground, Charlie Holness is now out of his ‘air-cast’ and is now walking without any aid. Hopefully he will be back running in a couple of weeks, before joining in with football in late February. Having Charlie back will be a big boost for us so hopefully he keeps making a quick recovery.
Due to our Youth Cup game on Monday I won’t be blogging until later in the week, so as this will be my last blog before the cup game. All I can do is urge you to come down and support the lads again on Monday, and hopefully we can get another positive result.