Garbutt: It's Been Brilliant So Far
Wednesday, 16th Oct 2019 15:52
It is hardly surprising to hear Town loanee Luke Garbutt state that he is enjoying his football after the way he has won over supporters with his high-level performances this season.
The summer arrival from Everton launched into the campaign with a goal in each of the club’s first two games, first of all clinching the opening-day win at Burton with the only goal and then putting Town ahead in the home clash with Sunderland.
In an eventful first half Garbutt opened the scoring against the Black Cats but then had to succumb to injury before half-time.
After being replaced by Alan Judge he looked on as the visitors levelled in the second half and returned north with a point they scarcely deserved.
Garbutt, 26, said: “It has been brilliant so far and I couldn’t really ask for much more. Obviously, there was a slight blip when I got injured in the Sunderland game but I’ve looked to maintain that form since I’ve come back, which I think I’ve done. All in all, I’m really, really enjoying my football.”
Town currently lead League One and regardless of results elsewhere on Saturday they will still be in pole position the following day going into their live-on-Sky clash away to Accrington Stanley, which starts at 12 noon.
Asked how he liked being in a team all the others are trying to catch, the Harrogate-born player added: “We’ve really just taken it one game at a time. The manager has just enforced that we focus on each game as it comes around.
“We try and look to do exactly as he says and at the moment we’re doing that to the letter really. The lads are just focused on trying to win every game and performing in the right way.
“We’re sitting at the top but I don’t think anyone is talking about us winning the title – yet. It’s still early on in the season so our focus is just, like I said, on taking each game as it comes.
“To me, the team is in a great place and if we can just maintain our form I don’t really see us moving too far away from where we are now.
“I think we’ll maintain a position where we are and in my opinion I don’t think there are any teams as good as us, man for man, in this league.”
Garbutt spent more than five weeks on the sidelines, missing seven fixtures in all competitions, before being ruled fit enough to return to action in the 1-0 league win at MK Dons, and since then has added another goal in the 4-1 home win over Tranmere to bring his Town tally to three in five games.
He continued: “The manager has shown faith in me by putting me straight back into the side and I’m forever grateful for that.
“I’ve just got to keep maintaining my levels and my form, and continue to kick on with the team. As long as we keep getting results and everyone’s playing well it’s going to be a happy camp really.”
It doesn’t appear to matter to Garbutt whether he operates as an orthodox left-back in a back four or, when manager Paul Lambert opts for a three-man back line, he switches to the left wing-back role.
“Wing-back is a position I’ve played a little bit, not loads,” he said. “I’ve either played full-back or on the wing but the way in which the manager wants us to play, which is kind of on the front foot and attacking teams, it will suit my game. Hopefully, I can demonstrate that in the coming games.
“If you’re winning football games you kind of just take it on board, do you know what I mean? If it was another scenario and things weren’t quite going as well then it might be a little bit of a tricky situation.
“But where the team is at the minute, with our mentality and the way we are winning games, the lads seem to be just kind of….it’s flowing, no matter what formation we put out really, so long may it continue.”
Garbutt conceded he didn’t expect such a healthy goal return at such an early stage of the season, adding: “It has been a positive really. When I was at Oxford last year I ended the year really well. I scored a few goals from left midfield and I just took that on.
“It’s a bit surprising to be on the goal tally I’m on at the minute but the way in which we’re performing and winning games, our confidence levels mean I go into each game thinking I’m going to get a chance or I’m going to create something. I just hope it continues.”
Having netted three times in his final five games of last season, when he was on loan at Oxford, it means Garbutt has scored a healthy six in his last 10 competitive outings – a ratio that would satisfy most strikers. Never mind a player who had found the net just seven times in his previous 137 games.
He smiled: Yes, it’s good form, obviously, on the goalscoring front. The way in which I go into each game, I’m just focusing on trying to perform as well as I can, and the goals I’ve scored are a bonus. I’m not a striker, so my focus is not to score in every single game.
“But I want to help the team, whether it be an assist or a goal or whatever, like heading one clear at the back post for instance. My game is up and down, trying to help the team defensively as well as in an attacking sense.”
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