Bart: Boss Was Right to Criticise After Exeter Performance
Monday, 20th Aug 2018 17:03
Bartosz Bialkowski has admitted that manager Paul Hurst was right to criticise him and his Town team-mates for last week’s below-par display at Exeter that saw them eliminated from the Carabao Cup after a penalty shoot-out.
Town recovered in the best way possible with a battling display in the 1-1 home draw with Aston Villa on Saturday when, despite having Fulham loanee Tayo Edun dismissed six minutes before half-time, they earned a deserved point and helped create as positive and upbeat an atmosphere as Portman Road has experienced in a long time.
Bialkowski said: “We needed that type of performance after the game at Exeter. That was a night to forget so we needed to bounce back quickly and we managed to do that.
“We knew we were going to face a good team, a very strong team, and that they were probably going to be one of the main challengers for promotion at the end of the season. Now we need to keep playing like we did against Villa every week.
“Obviously, no one likes to be criticised, but we all play for the same team and we are all looking to pull in the same direction and be successful.
“Maybe we needed that kind of message from the manager but football is a man’s game and we are all grown-up people who can deal with it. The manager was right in what he said to us so we needed to respond as we did on Saturday.”
Bialkowski spent a large chunk of his summer break from the domestic season with the Poland squad at the World Cup in Russia, where they went down 2-1 to Senegal and 3-0 to Colombia before defeating Japan 1-0 in their final group fixture, which meant they were unable to qualify for the knockout phase.
He recalled: “It was a great experience, just a shame about the results. Overall it was amazing and the atmosphere around the place was incredible.
“I obviously knew I was going to be the third-choice keeper but I was doing everything I could to help the others, as well as trying to impress in training and prove to the manager that he could rely on me if he selected me. I knew Lukasz Fabianski would be playing in the last game against Japan and in the build-up I was helping him in training.
“Now that I have made it into the international squad I want to stay there for as long as possible.
“At the moment we have a new manager so I’m not sure what is going to happen. I haven’t spoken to him yet so we’ll just have to wait and see.”
Bialkowski wasn’t the only Town player to represent his country in Russia, with defender Jonas Knudsen not only included in the Danish squad but playing a significant role in the round-of-16 clash with eventual runners-up Croatia that ended in a penalty shoot-out defeat for the Danes following a 1-1 draw.
Bialkowski added: “Jonas and I were exchanging a few messages out in Russia. He was buzzing and when he played against Croatia I thought he played well.”
While the World Cup experience will remain a memory for the rest of his life, one of his highlights was working in training with the fellow countryman he believes is the best striker in world football at the moment – Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski.
“He was amazing and everything he did in training was so good,” recalled Bialkowski. “He has so much quality on the ball and his finishing is the best I have ever seen.
“For me he is the best number nine in the world so to be working alongside him in training was an absolute pleasure.
“I hope that the more I work with him and the other players it will help to make me a better goalkeeper. It’s about trying to learn something every single day.”
For the time being, however, Bialkowski is determined that Town will not have to wait much longer to record their first league win of the new campaign, their first under Hurst and one that has so far produced two points from a possible nine.
The keeper added: “We had a great connection with the previous gaffer but that’s football and the new manager has been positive from day one.
“He wants to be successful and that’s the main thing. There have been differences in training and at the end of the day we fully understand what he wants from us.
“It really makes sense and I am very pleased he is here because he’s got new ideas and it’s all looking really good to be fair.
“But we need to get that first win on the board and I feel sure it is going to come soon, hopefully tomorrow at Derby. It will be another tough game – it’s the Championship – but we have a good record against Derby away from home and hopefully we can maintain that.
“I might come up against Martyn Waghorn and he’s a fantastic player. But I will be doing everything I can to stop him, or any of the Derby players, from scoring against me.”
Photo: Action Images
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