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Havin’ One!

On Tuesday we had a fairly long day of training – normally Monday and Tuesday are the longest training sessions during our normal week. In the morning we had our gym session at 8 o’clock like usual, with it being first thing in the morning most of us lads are still half asleep.

It’s sort of towards the end of the session where people are just beginning to wake up because it’s normally silent to start with and no one says anything because their bodies aren’t awake yet.

In our morning training session we did SAQ, which is when you go through cones in different way to work on your speed and agility. We then did a passing drill doing different variations, before playing possession games on a small pitch and then opening it up on to a bigger pitch scoring through coned areas in each corner.

In the afternoon we did some games where we had wingers in their own section out wide and then it was 6-a-side in the middle, so the idea of the game was to get it wide and then get deliveries in to the box so that we could try to get in the right positions to score from them. Later on I went to the gym with my mate James because after a hectic and intense day it’s good to just kick back and relax in the jacuzzi and go for a swim.

On both Monday and Tuesday this week I had been ‘havin one’! Seriously, on both afternoons in the games, every shot I had I caught wrong and it went over or wide, or every touch I had bobbled and was heavy, pretty much every pass went astray. It just wasn’t happening, and it’s horrible because it’s twice as hard to get out of it! I was hoping that as the week went on things would go a bit better, which to be fair, they did.

Wednesday was education day like usual and this week we had Jamie Robinson from the PFA come in to give us our final coaching topics and a chance to practice our coaching session before next week’s final assessment in which he could give us some advice on ways to improve the way we were coaching to give us the best chance of getting our Level 2 Coaching Certificate.

It’s pretty important to get the coaching qualifications now at a young age because if you have a long career you may want to then be a coach or if you unfortunately don’t make it or suffer a career ending injury then you have to look at doing other things and coaching is something I certainly would look at.

Match – Nottingham Forest v Barnsley

We lost to Newcastle last week in what was the second game in a row that we had played really well with bright creative play, so we wanted to carry that sort of form and consistency in to our home game against Barnsley on Saturday, plus keep a clean sheet but also start well and win the game.

They had kick off, and from the start whistle we set the standard for the rest of the game. We ran at them to retrieve the ball back and we did within a few passes and went straight on the attack. We could have scored from our first few chances but we actually managed to get a break through after about 5 minutes when Hooky scored from inside the area with a good finish.

A few minutes later we had our second goal of the morning when a really good move of about 6 passes resulted in another goal for Hooky after I headed a cross from Rodders back across goal for him to finish from close range. After around half an hour we got our third goal. I was played through with a ball over the top, before the centre-back played a slack pass back which I went in for and got a slight block on the keeper’s clearance.

Rodder’s then rounded the goalie on the edge of the area to see his shot blocked on the line by a defender, but I was there to follow up and claim an easy tap in from close distance. As a striker I’ll take a tap in any day! We created more chances toward the end of the first half but we went in 3 – 0 up at half time.

We knew we just needed to take the sting out of the game by keeping the ball for lengthy spells so that we could get a foot-hold on the match in the second half. We did that to a certain degree and kept on making chance after chance, a couple of which I had and should have scored really from a header and a shot just inside the area.

However we continued to work hard and although we conceded a goal with twenty minutes to go, we managed to get another when great work by Tom down the right resulted in him crossing it for me to score a diving header from about 5 yards out.

We won the game 4 – 1 and we deserved the win after the manor we started the game in. I was fairly pleased with how I played by getting two goals, but I was disappointed in not taking my other chances.

On Sunday I went to the gym with my brother just to go through a short stretching programme. I find it does my body better for the start of a week if I go and do some stretching and have a swim at the gym the day after a game. Sometimes if you don’t do anything on a Sunday and just lounge about on the sofa and sleep all day, when you go to training on a Monday you’re still stiff as anything from Saturday’s game.

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