I started off on Monday by checking out my weight to see how much I had lost during the past week. I weighed in at 151 pounds and I normally weigh 157; I had lost six pounds which is around half a stone! Most of that was probably fluid because of the diarrhoea and sickness, however, I knew that as the week went on I would get that back up.
We trained in the morning doing possession games in tight grids. They were 4 v 4’s and the tempo was really high throughout the session which meant I was absolutely blowing by the end of it – and that was just the morning session! The afternoon was a technical session and then 3 v3 games with the goalkeepers in small goals. By the end of it I could barely move, my body was in agony, I was so stiff and ached so much it felt like I’d just started pre-season all over again!
I had an ice bath after training which made my muscles even tighter but I did feel refreshed after going through the pain of doing it. That night it was a struggle getting up the stairs but I was in bed at about half eight and slept all the way through until morning!
On the Friday I was chosen in the starting line-up to play at the weekend against Sheffield United so I was buzzing to say the least. I had got through the whole week’s training sessions and gym sessions without any problems which was encouraging. During the morning’s training session we had our normal game of ‘throw catch’ and for some reason this week everyone was up for it and we all wanted to win which made it very competitive to say the least.
The game normally lasts for 5 minutes and we play first to 3 touch downs, but this week we were playing for about 10 minutes because it was that tight and we had to play to 2 instead of 3 or else we would’ve been playing all day. Hopefully the enthusiasm we had during that could be taken in to the game on Saturday to get a good start.
That afternoon I went to Asda on the way home and bought a few DVD’s to watch when I got back because I’ve watched all of mine so many times. As usual I had spaghetti bolognese that night which is what I always tend to have a night before a game because it’s full of carbohydrates so I can hopefully last the game the following day.
Match: Nottingham Forest v Sheffield United
I turned up for the game on Saturday and the mood was good in the camp. We all went out to check the pitch like usual and came back to the changing room to get ready for the game. This week for some reason there was a change to the play list, normally we listen to R n B and Bass line music to get us hyped, but having lost with that music the lads decided to change it and we listened to some Oasis before the game which actually got most of the squad singing along and buzzing for the game!
We went out and the warm up was good, the tempo was high and it just felt like we were going to play well. The game kicked off and we took it straight to them attacking from the off. We got a corner in the first five minutes and their keeper fumbled it in his own six yard box and it went over the line. I think it went down as an own goal but Max will try his hardest to claim the goal after he’d taken the corner.
Within two minutes we were 2 – 0 up, Rodders nicked the ball off their defender and squared it for me to take a touch and put it past the keeper with my left foot from close range. A couple of minutes later we were 3 – 0 up when a great ball enabled Adriano to get a cross in for Rodders to put it past the keeper. After 20 minutes we were 4 – 0 up, Rodders won the ball from their centre-back and squared for me to control and tap in with my right foot – pretty much the same as my other goal but from the opposite side.
I was happy to get the goals but I felt really weak physically because it was my first game back after being ill. Sheffield Utd pulled a goal back before half time through a penalty, but having the lead meant we were able to take the sting out of the game and just keep possession in the second half.
I came off with ten minutes to go, I was knackered to say the least, but it gave my team mate Ratty the chance to come on for the first time since breaking his leg which was over a year ago. With him coming on it capped off a good game for me and the team. Hopefully we can build on this two weeks from now when we play Newcastle at home.