Jackson: I've Only One Target This Season
Thursday, 29th Aug 2019 15:01
Town striker Kayden Jackson has only one end-of-season target on his mind – and it has nothing to do with how many goals he scores.
With three in the bag so far, Jackson could be on course to break through the 20-goal barrier by which most strikers are judged, but he is more concerned with what the team achieves.
He said: “The only target I have is to get promoted at the end of the season and to play as many games as I can to help the team achieve that.
“Whether that’s as a result of scoring goals, running opposition defenders into the ground or creating opportunities to help team-mates score goals, I don’t mind. Just as long as I’m playing games and we’re winning I’ll be enjoying it.”
Jackson admits he is enjoying his football more now than at any stage since his move from Accrington Stanley just over a year ago, adding: “On a personal level I feel as if I’m playing in a system now that suits me and plays to my strengths.
“It’s refreshing and enjoyable. For a long time last season not many people around here were enjoying their football.
“We were losing, which no one enjoys, but we’ve got a few wins early doors this season. We’ve had a good start, we’re sitting top of the league and I think another good thing is that there’s still a lot more to come from us.
“I don’t think we have found our best performance levels yet and there are a lot of players who are still not fully fit.
“Also, our squad is so strong and we have a lot of players on the bench looking to get game time. I can see us getting better and better as the season goes on.”
Town’s squad strength is such that manager Paul Lambert is spoilt for choice in most departments and when everyone is fit it is difficult to imagine any of their League One rivals being able to match it.
As far as Jackson and sidekick James Norwood are concerned, the competition for attacking places in the side increased recently with the arrival on a permanent deal of Will Keane, who was here on loan last season from Hull City.
Jackson added “I’m 100 per cent glad to see Will back. With the added competition he brings to the squad I know for a fact that I cannot afford to let my own performance level drop. It’s keeping me hungry as well.
“Will is a player who perhaps shouldn’t even be playing at this level and I was very surprised that a Championship club didn’t take him during the summer.
“I’m hoping Keano can stay fit because he’s not just one of the nicest guys you could ever wish to meet, he also hasn’t deserved all the bad luck he has had with injuries in his career and if he can stay fit he can be a massive player for us this season.
“It’s about trying to keep everyone fresh and at the end of the day everyone deserves a chance.
“We have players who have played tons of games in the Championship and on the other hand we have players who are hungry, hard-working and keen to get into the team.
“They all deserve a fair crack at it and until the gaffer finds his settled 11, which might be a long time into the season, everyone will be kind of in and out.
“I’m sure that if players deserve to play in consecutive game he’ll keep them in but it stands us in good stead for the season if everyone can stay fresh and they are chomping at the bit.
“With the competition for places that exists within the squad everyone is hungry and working hard every day in training. I think it shows on a match day with every player keen to grab the chance to keep his place in the side.”
Jackson also agrees that Town’s focus on a counter-attacking system in the current campaign suits his style of play. “It does, because of my pace enabling me to get in behind, but it’s not something that we’ve necessarily worked on,” he explained.
“The system we are playing helps me to do that, a little bit more than the system we used last season.
“You can get more bodies forward quicker and I think that has been the main factor.
“We’ve had a lot of attacking players on the pitch at the same time, more so than we were able to do last season, and that doesn’t just help me, it helps the team, which is the most important thing.”
Meanwhile, Jackson, whose speed is his main asset, recalled taking part in sprint events as a schoolboy and added: “I did a little bit. but to be fair to them there were a couple of lads – well, one lad – who was quicker than me at school.
“But I’ve always enjoyed running, whether it was running from people, on the football pitch or otherwise, because I’ve been blessed with pace. I’m just happy that I can put it to good use on the pitch rather than elsewhere!”
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