Jackson: This Season the Polar Opposite of Last Year
Friday, 6th Dec 2019 12:43
Town striker Kayden Jackson has emphasised how much happier he is this season than last, his first with the club that ended with relegation from the Championship.
Jackson is the club’s joint-leading scorer with co-striker James Norwood on seven goals and when asked how much he is currently enjoying his football he replied: “It’s like chalk and cheese when you look back at last year when there weren’t many games that I enjoyed.
“This year has been the polar opposite. There have obviously been a lot of games in which I’ve scored or assisted and, more importantly, where we’ve got the wins. That’s the most enjoyable thing as a footballer.”
But Jackson admits he is pleasantly surprised at how well he has performed, even owning up to a pre-season fear that manager Paul Lambert might not see him as a first-team regular for the club’s League One campaign.
He agreed the summer was a time of uncertainty and wondered how it might affect him going forward. “Part of you is concerned and you are thinking to yourself ‘Am I going to be surplus to requirements or is the gaffer going to bring in this player and that player’.
“But as a player the only thing you can control is how hard you work. I could have felt sorry for myself after the season I had and the season we had as a club, but if I’d done that I wouldn’t be in the position I’m in now.
“I wouldn’t have played the amount of games I have or contributed as much as I have.
“The main thing, when you find yourself in that position, is to get your head down and work twice as hard as you did before.
“Luckily enough, it is paying off for me at the minute and I’m not going to let it stop. I will carry on working as hard as I can to keep doing well.
“This is what I always wanted, to be in the side and starting games on a regular basis, and that gave me the added motivation to work as hard as I did over the summer. I wasn’t thinking about going elsewhere or anything like that.
“My sole focus was to get into the team and contribute towards us getting the wins. I worked really hard over the summer and thankfully I was given an opportunity, which I’m pleased to have taken.”
He is especially delighted to be among League One’s top marksmen and to have also contributed a number of assists. “Looking back to when I was at Accrington I think I got quite a few assists there as well,” he continued. “That’s just part of my game and I’m happy to help out wherever I’m needed.
“Luckily, I’ve put a few decent balls in this season that the lads have finished off. It’s been good for the team so I’m happy to score, assist or make sure I work all-round for the team. It’s all about winning as a team and making sure we get all three points. Really, that’s all that matters.”
Meanwhile, Jackson has never known a situation where his side have lined up against the same opponents three times in the space of just nine days, as Town and Coventry will have done by the time Tuesday’s FA Cup second round replay will be done and dusted at Portman Road on Tuesday.
He added: “I can’t say I have ever come across it before. There have been occasions when I’ve played against a team once and then we’ve had them again within a couple of weeks, but that’s about it.
“It’s a strange one but I suppose we’ll be familiar with each other by the time the FA Cup replay comes along in midweek.
“We’ll know how they play and they’ll know how we play, but I think we have the squad to cope with whatever the opposition throw at us and hopefully we’ll get the three points tomorrow.”
Seven-goal James Norwood is unavailable for the second part of the Coventry trilogy because he will be serving a one-game suspension after collecting his fifth booking of the season in the recent home game against Wycombe, and more particularly for his protestations after what was later shown to be a perfectly good goal was wrongly chalked off.
Jackson said: “Nors has been a massive player for us this season – everyone can see that – so he’ll be a massive miss.
“But we have a good squad here and there are some good players ready to come in. Whatever the gaffer goes with, I’m sure we will do our best to get the three points.”
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