The Derby result was very disappointing. I suppose looking back on it, it was a bad time to be playing them what with their new manager coming in for his first game and all their players trying to impress him. However, that’s not an explanation for the result from our point of view.
We went to Pride Park fully committed to getting the win and the three points that would have moved us up the table, but unfortunately that never happened. We had the majority of play in the first half but didn’t take our chances and we were very disappointed to go in a goal down at half-time.
But it was still a confident dressing room at the break, we were sure we had the ability to turn the game around but more missed opportunities in the second half meant it wasn’t to be. We dominated the game and had plenty of possession, we just couldn’t convert that into goals.
That certainly wasn’t the case on Tuesday though, when we eased through to the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 4-0 win over Bolton. We’d heard reports beforehand that they might field an understrength side, but it’s such a major competition we knew they would put out a strong team and give us a difficult game.
So all credit to our lads to come through the match fairly comfortably. We set about our task early on and played some very good football on the night. I thought their goalkeeper had a fine game, he started off very well with some great saves and it looked like it might be one of those nights.
But we stuck at it and made the breakthrough with Darren’s penalty. We were always in control from then on and fully deserved to win. A quick word on Matthew Etherington, I thought he played very well against Bolton. I’ve been speaking to him quite a bit about how well he did on loan at Bradford and could tell that he’s come back from there with a bit of confidence.
Tuesday’s game will do him no harm at all. He scored his first goal for the club and looked lively throughout. He certainly deserves to keep his squad place and hopefully he’ll keep performing well.
Obviously I was left out against Bolton along with a couple of others, mainly because we are all on four bookings and one more would mean we might miss the Worthington Cup Final.
I was disappointed because I’ve not long returned from a three-game suspension and as a player, you want to play in every game you can.
I certainly want to play in this excellent stadium in front of this excellent crowd we have here as often as possible. You want to be involved because when you look back on your career, you won’t remember the games you didn’t play in.
Today we are back in league action and we need to return to winning ways. Both teams need the points this afternoon and I’m sure we will encounter a tough game, but if we show the same character and spirit as we did on Tuesday, we should come through okay.
Enjoy the game.
We’ve had differing fortunes once again in our two previous games, with a defeat at Derby followed by a comfortable FA Cup win at home to Bolton.