Pitman Relishing Responsibility
Tuesday, 13th Sep 2016 06:00
Town striker Brett Pitman admits he is relishing the responsibility of replacing Daryl Murphy as the team’s main man up front.
With Murphy sold to Newcastle in a £3 million pre-deadline move, manager Mick McCarthy has turned to Pitman in both the subsequent games – a 1-0 home win over Preston and a 2-1 defeat at Reading.
But Pitman, 28, denied it was a case of being happy to see Murphy move on because it saw him move up the pecking order. He said: “I don’t think you can look at it like that. I played enough games with him last year so there’s no reason to think I wouldn’t have played if he was still here.
“Obviously, we are disappointed to see him go and everybody wishes him well. I think we all understand the reasons why he’s gone.
“My current role in the side is something that I haven’t done particularly much in my career to be honest, playing up front on my own as such, but it’s something that I’ve really enjoyed in the last couple of games.
“I’ve enjoyed taking the responsibility of helping the team to build a platform to play off. Wherever I’ve played I’ve always been the target from goalkicks so nothing’s really changed in that regard.”
Nor does Pitman worry about his role as the team’s main striker being an extra burden with which to cope, adding: “I put the pressure on myself because I expect to score when I play, so no one is putting any more pressure on than before. If I come off and we’ve won, even if I haven’t scored, I’m happy.
“It’s not a case of feeling more settled either because I think I felt settled last year to be honest. It’s an easy dressing room to settle into.
“There are no bad lads here – they are all good lads and I don’t think the gaffer would sign anybody without doing his homework on their personalities and their backgrounds.
“We’ve got no bad characters to unsettle things. It’s a good, tight squad and everybody gets on. There are fallings out in training and games but that’s part and parcel of football. We all want to win and if you don’t want to win you’re probably in the wrong sport.”
Pitman turned the clock back 10 years to remember teaming up with new colleague Leon Best when he was loaned by Southampton to Bournemouth. He said: “I played with Leon, if only for a few minutes, when he was at Bournemouth with me.
“He came on loan when we were both young. He’s a good lad and he’s a character.
“He’s big, he’s strong and he brings a presence, and obviously he’s played in the Premier League and scored goals in the Premier League. Technically, he’s a good player.
“I remember training with him at Bournemouth but I was only young and coming into the team back then. I think there was one game when I went on late but he went back to Southampton soon after that.”
Last week 29-year-old Best said he thought his best years could still be ahead of him – and Pitman said he shared the same philosophy, adding: “I think you’ve always got to believe the best is still to come. You’ve always got to look to improve every aspect of your game and with experience it probably helps a little bit.”
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