Pennington: Right Results Are Just Around the Corner
Monday, 10th Sep 2018 15:59
Loan defender Matthew Pennington is confident Town will soon end their wait for a first win this season, a run of form that sees them second bottom of the Championship going into this weekend’s trip to face a Hull side just one point and two places better off.
Pennington, who will be 24 next month, has joined on a season-long loan from Everton to become new manager Paul Hurst’s 12th signing of the summer, a statistic that genuinely took him by surprise.
“If I didn’t know there had been 12 new signings at the club I would never have guessed it,” said the Warrington-born central defender recruited by the Toffees’ academy when he was 11. “I feel like I’ve come into a close group and team.
“I’ve seen enough on the training ground to believe that things are going to improve and I think the right results are just round the corner.
“It would be good to get a clean sheet [something Town have yet to achieve in seven league and cup outings in the current campaign] because they help you to win games.
“The mood is very good and everyone is enjoying the training. It’s been quite tough over the last week or so and the lads have worked really hard, with some double sessions and a lot of running.
“We’re putting in the hard yards and being a really fit team will hopefully help us to get a few results.
“I can see the lads are really fit and I can see why that is the case because the training I’ve done since I came here has been pretty tough.
“We cover a lot of distance in the training but hopefully it will pay dividends in the forthcoming games.”
Pennington, who has represented England at U19 level, made his Town debut in the recent East Anglian derby against Norwich less than 48 hours after making the long trip by car from Merseyside to launch the latest chapter of his career.
He added: “I was happy with my performance and I was buzzing that I started the game, which I hadn’t expected.
“I was only told shortly before the game but I felt I did well and gave the fans an idea of what I’m all about.
“It was good for my confidence that I went straight into the side and I was really pleased that the gaffer put his faith in me. Hopefully, I repaid him.
“Did the atmosphere surprise me? No, not at all, because I’ve watched these games on television and knew what to expect.
“It was close to being a full house and the atmosphere was electric, especially when we went ahead.
“It was a pretty mad few days. I didn’t know anything was happening transfer-wise until the Friday and that was deadline day.
“So it was pretty much a case of jumping in the car and getting down here. I’ve not been back up to Liverpool since but I’m glad to be here and feel I’ve settled in well.
“With the international break it has meant I’ve spent more time on the training ground and I’ve been getting to know everyone better.
“My game is all about defending and it’s a part of the game that I really enjoy. I look to stop the opposition scoring and in the next few games I’m hoping I can help us to keep a few clean sheets.
“I didn’t know what to expect from this season. We had a new manager come in at Everton so it was just a case of reporting back for pre-season and finding out what his thoughts were.
“Everton have gone down the route of buying new centre-halves so it’s an opportunity for me to go out on loan again and get some game time that way.”
Pennington is still in the process of finding suitable accommodation and added: “I’m looking to rent somewhere and I was looking at some places this morning.
"I want to find a place as quickly as I can and get settled because I think that will help me on the pitch.”
Former Town boss Joe Royle, who was previously responsible for the welfare of players departing Goodison on loan, is now director of football at Wigan but he has been an influential figure in Pennington’s career to date.
“The new manager has brought in some new members of staff,” said the young defender.
“Joe has left so it’s not the same set-up in that respect but I’m sure they will be keeping an eye on me and the other players who are out on loan.
“It’s a big part of the game now and the game is very widely covered so I imagine there will be a lot of people keeping their eyes on me.
“I spoke to Joe a few times during the summer. He played a big part in most of my previous loan moves in the last few years and he’s been really helpful. He’s always on the phone if I need him and he’s a top guy.
“I also spoke to both Conor Grant and Callum Connolly about coming here. They were both on loan here so I was asking them a few questions about what it was like down here and they spoke very highly of the place.
“They said it was a family club and that everyone was really friendly, and that’s exactly what I have found since the day I arrived.”
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