This week I returned to training and managed to get a full week under my belt. I have been working non-stop over the past couple of weeks in the gym to improve my core strength, so it’s nice to be outside with the lads again. Hopefully all the hard work I’ve put in will pay off and it will prevent any further niggles.
The season has started reasonably well for us – well so far. After a hard fought 1-1 draw at home to Derby County on the opening day of the season, we travelled to Man City in our next game and came away with a very creditable 1-0 win.
No-one was expecting us to get anything up there, but the boys knew that if we played like we knew we could, we could cause an upset and that’s exactly what we did. We defended superbly and deserved our win which came courtesy of a good strike by James Comley. Confidence within the team is always high, but after the Man City result it was fantastic.
Following on from our Man City success, we played MK Dons at home which proved to be a tough game for us. To be fair, MK Dons started the game much better than us and flew out the traps.
They came at us, and it took us a little while to wake up and switch on. I don’t think we were over-confident, I think we were surprised at the way they started. We expected them to sit back and frustrate us, but they started positively and aimed to move the ball as quickly as they could.
After getting through a frantic opening 20 minutes unscathed we took control of the game and dominated the rest of the half.
A good finish from a corner by our captain, Jerry Nnamani put us 1-0 up and it looked like another goal wasn’t too far away. We had lots more chances before the half was out but we weren’t clinical in front of goal and had to settle for only the one.
The second half was a much more even game. MK Dons scored an equaliser before Jack Randall put us back in front with a goal he claims he ‘carefully caressed into the bottom corner’. They threw everything at us in the last 10 minutes and scored from a free-kick late in the game to make it 2-2.
It was a gutting feeling, but we didn’t defend the set-piece properly and as a result we had to settle for one point instead of three. We have worked hard on defending set-pieces in training since and aim to not concede in the same manner as we did.
We got a good win away at Watford on Saturday which was proof of the hard work all the lads have put in so far this season.
In our last pre-season game we got beaten 4-0 by them but just a month later we returned in the league and came away with a 3-0 win. The 4-0 defeat was a reality check for us and it made it clear that we still had a lot of work to do. We talked about it on the Monday morning following the game and have worked hard in training ever since.
A clean sheet against a very good Watford team was also pleasing and the back four of Kieran Kenlock, Jack Holland, Jerry Nnamani and Matt Parsons were solid. All the back four are second year Apprentices and have all started the season really well.
On Saturday we travel to Reading and hopefully we can continue our good start to the season.