Kevin Blackwell reflects on the past week and Saturday's game against Cheltenham Town
Despite it being a week in which the Shakers let a two goal lead slip away at Burton Albion and then going on to concede 6 goals against Norwich in the Capital One Cup which led to the Shakers exit, Kevin Blackwell spoke of his delight at his teams progression over the past 8 weeks, his optimism about this new hearty squad and the positive mood that's in the air in and around the club.
'I'm really excited about what I've seen so far on the pitch and so are the fans, which is one of the things that has led to the feeling of optimism around the club, the style of football that we are playing and just the way in which we have played. When the opposing directors come to you after the game and say we feel as though we've cheated you, from that type of comment you know our luck will come soon and it’s not how you start it’s how you finish. What is now key is that we become stronger as a unit and get better in our understanding of each other, if that happens we could go on to have a good season.
With performance at Burton, we'd gone there amidst the them having their best start to the season, they were full of bounce, so to go there and do what we did for 70-80 minutes it's phenomenal, it was very close to the perfect team performance. During the game we mixed power with pace along with great passing of the ball which opened them up almost at will. As for their goals, the teams that are up at the top always secure opportunities in games and unfortunately we allowed them to take those chances. I did leave Burton frustrated but quietly confident as that was only our 6th game as a club.
To then go to Norwich and receive a standing ovation from the home crowd on the final whistle after playing against a strong 11 that featured 7 internationals. When your opposition pay you that kind of respect you know that you are doing something right. We went there and took the game to them which resulted in such an open and attractive game.
When Jessy scored that unbelievable goal against Norwich the hairs on the back of people's neck must have stood up because as the ball was struck and it pounded against the back of the net, everybody inside Carrow Road rose to their feet for that one man, it was unbelievable to see. I looked round just after the goal at the Norwich fans and the smiles on their faces you would have thought it was a home goal. We know Jessy has that ability to shoot, combined with really raw power. I've watched the goal back 4 or 5 times on the TV and it looks like a goal that’s come straight out of Europe from La Liga or Serie A it was THAT good!
As for Jessy himself he's such a nice man and he's only a 20 year old raw kid .Jessy is out every afternoon trying to improve on his touch and his movement. We don't want to force Jessy we just want to introduce him slowly so he can gain the confidence and the knowledge he needs in order to become a complete, all round player.
Going into the game against Cheltenham on Saturday I've told the lads that the 6 opening games would have been some of the toughest of the season as some of the teams have been in the play-offs and some in leagues above us such as Norwich and Crewe. Cheltenham were beaten in the play-offs last season so we know it's going to be a tough game but ultimately it's more about us than Cheltenham. I want us to dictate what happens to our season nobody else. I'm sure over the course of the season teams will come here and shut up shop and try to make it difficult for us but that's something we'll have to plan out and hopefully overcome.
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