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Pennington: No Regrets About Joining Town
Thursday, 6th Dec 2018 17:04

Town may be propping up the Championship table but Matthew Pennington is adamant he has no regrets about joining on a season-long loan from Everton.

The 24-year-old defender was signed by ex-manager Paul Hurst but has received the stamp of approval from his successor, Paul Lambert, who has picked him for every one of his five league games in charge.

Warrington-born Pennington said: “I’ve never regretted the move because I’ve been playing games and I’ve enjoyed my time here, despite the results. It’s a great club and I’ve been made to feel like part of the family here.

“There are no regrets. I’ve enjoyed playing but we all know that we need to get the results to ourselves up the table.”

Asked if Hurst’s premature departure made it an uncertain time for the young defender he replied: “I guess so but you’ve just got to show what you can do for any manager and if you’re doing okay hopefully you will stay in the team.

“That’s the way football works. It chops and changes all the time – it’s a very volatile business – and that’s the way it goes.

“It has given me confidence and it’s nice to play every game, but we know we need to improve the results.

“I feel like I’m doing okay form-wise but I’m just happy to be playing at the moment. It’s the results that matter most of all and it’s not down to individual performances. It’s all about results really.

“It has given me confidence to be in the side and play every game since the gaffer came in, but we know we need to improve the results.

“I feel like I’m doing okay form-wise but I’m just happy to be playing at the moment. It’s the results that matter most of all and it’s not down to individual performances. It’s all about results really.

“I’d like to think there is a lot more to come from me. I think I’m improving all the time and the fact that I’m playing games is a big help.”

Pennington believes that partnering skipper Luke Chambers in the centre of the Town defence has benefited his own game.

“Chambo’s been brilliant,” he said. “He’s got so much experience and played so many games. It’s great for me to play alongside him and learn some tricks of the trade, and hopefully that can help to make me a better player.

“I think Chambo is underrated in some quarters. I think he’s unfortunate not to have played in the Premier League.

“I know he’s been in the play-offs but he’s never made it into the top flight and if he had I’m sure he could have coped with it. He’s a very good player.”

Only Sheffield Wednesday have conceded more goals this season than Town, who have kept just the one clean sheet, which came in the goalless home draw with Bolton Wanderers, who were forced to play for almost an hour after defender Marc Wilson was red-carded.

Pennington, the only defender to score this season, added: “It’s not just about the back four or the back five. You defend as a team and look to score goals as a team as well. It’s all about the team. It’s also important that we get goals, and not just from the frontmen.

“Set pieces give us a great chance and they’re massive in the game at the moment. You saw it at the World Cup, where so many of the goals came from set pieces, and I’d like to be chipping in with a lot more.

“When it comes to trying to stop conceding goals we’re always working with the gaffer on our shape, how we can nullify opponents and also create a springboard to attack from the back.”

Pennington’s role has changed slightly under Lambert’s preferred style of play. “We’re trying to play out from the back,” he explained.

“It gives more players more time on the ball and if the central defenders split early it gives other players time to pick a pass and go forward.

“That’s the way it is at Everton. They want you to get the ball down and play, spread out and move for each other, so I’ve been used to that way of playing since before I came here.”

Asked if it was difficult to play under the pressure of being rooted to the bottom of the table, Pennington said: “I think the gaffer’s been really good in taking the pressure off the boys and he’s taken the shackles off us. He’s told us to go and play his way, and it’s been good.”

Pennington, who was previously on loan at Tranmere, Walsall, Coventry and Leeds, has no idea what the future could hold when he returns to Goodison at the end of the season. But he admits he is reaching the stage of his career when he would like to make a permanent move.

“It would be nice to settle down somewhere,” he continued. “I’m 24 now and I’ve been out on loan five times, so I guess it’s getting to the time now where I need to find a club, settle down and kick on. It could be here but I don’t know.

“It’s just up to me to keep performing and playing games then we’ll see what happens. I don’t know what’s happening with Everton. I’ve had a phone call or two from them but nothing more than that.”

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maninashed added 19:34 - Dec 6
Hasn't Nsala scored?
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maninashed added 19:39 - Dec 6
Nsiala
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Cakeman added 21:36 - Dec 6
Would be a good signing for us I believe. He has been consistent since he arrived and although still has much to learn I think he will develop into a very steady and reliable centre-back.
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PortmanTerrorist added 07:36 - Dec 7
Decent Cb, as is our Captain, but neither make for the loss of a Team Of Tommy Smiths
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rugbytomc added 09:26 - Dec 7
I like Pennington, I also like Chambers for all his faults - but when we had Smith and Berra (with Knudsen and Chambers as full backs) we were always an aerial threat at corners and set pieces. I wouldn't ever want to see Chambers or Pennington at full back again, but feel one of them, unfortunately, needs to be replaced by someone with height - both defensively and offensively. I don't think you can have two average height CBs together with no other height on the pitch (unless you send Bart up for Corners?!). Just an opinion
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