Jackson: We'll Handle Accrington Culture Shock
Saturday, 5th Jan 2019 06:00
Town striker Kayden Jackson has issued an FA Cup warning to his team-mates ahead of today’s FA Cup third round clash at his former club Accrington Stanley.
He doesn’t just want to emphasise Stanley’s giant-killing reputation but stress how much of a culture shock they are in for at the 5,450-capacity Wham Stadium.
Jackson, 24, was there last season when his 16 goals helped Stanley to win the League Two title and his record £1.6 million move to Portman Road followed in August.
He said: “A few of the lads who joined with me last summer know what to expect at Accrington. But there are several others who will have never experienced anything like it.
“The dressing rooms are, well, quite a lot different – probably worse than a fish and chip bar and not much better than a shed. Last season the roof had quite a lot of leaks and the rain used to come through.
“But it was a big part of the reason we were so successful last year. A lot of our opponents didn’t fancy it, the changing rooms or the ground. The Accrington lads just get on with it. They deal with it daily and it doesn’t faze them. If you can block all that out, it’s the best way to go there and get a result.
“Last season I would say the Accrington facilities were the worst in League Two by some distance. But there’s so much passion generated from the boardroom down. The management, the players and the fans, they have so much enthusiasm for their club, especially when you see the facilities they have to work with.
“I experienced it last season and I had never witnessed anything like it before. They make the best out of what they’ve got.
“But we’re all professionals and I’m sure we can handle them, whether it’s the grubby changing rooms or a bit of a frozen pitch, or whatever it might be.
“At the end of the day it’s 11 v 11 on the pitch and we need to stick the ball in the back of their net to win the game, so we should have enough to do them.
“The ground, the pitch and the facilities, it’s not one of those games you look forward to playing in, but at the end of the day we all need a win. Regardless of how the pitch is, nobody is concentrating on anything else but the win.
“Anything can happen in the FA Cup. Last season I was involved in an upset when Accrington lost to Guiseley but we’ll be giving it our all and hopefully, if we can play our game, we should have too much for them.”
Number nine Jackson has netted four times in 23 appearances in all competitions – 12 of them as a substitute – since joining Town and he is desperate to face his former colleagues as he looks to end a pretty miserable personal record in the FA Cup.
He said: “It’s not great. I’ve never reached the third round before and I’ve never scored an FA Cup goal – unless you count a penalty in a shoot-out – so I’m 100 per cent desperate to play on Saturday.
“But the gaffer will pick what he thinks is the best team for us to get a win and that’s what is most important, not whether or not I’m playing.”
The cash received for Jackson has already been put to good use by the Accrington board, as the player himself explained: “The Cowshed, as we knew it, was in quite a sorry state. That’s gone now and been replaced with a nice new family stand that seats 1,500.
“They helped me in the first place and it’s been good that I’ve been able to help repay the favour by bringing in some money to help pay for the stand. I’ve heard some people are even calling it the Kayden Jackson Stand.
“If I’m playing on Saturday and I score I don’t know if I’ll celebrate or not. I probably will but I’ll see. I’ll be very respectful but the most important thing is a win for Ipswich.”
Last season’s title-winning campaign earned Stanley a lot of publicity and they also made national headlines for chairman Andy Holt’s novel ‘burger bonus’ that saw him reward every win with an all-expenses-paid trip to the nearest McDonald’s.
Jackson participated on numerous occasions as his goals helped blaze a trail towards League One. But he laughed: “They definitely won’t be going for a burger on Saturday – we’ll make sure of that!”
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