Jackson: We Weren't at the Races
Wednesday, 29th Jan 2020 06:00
Striker Kayden Jackson admitted that the Blues weren’t at the races during their 1-0 defeat at Rotherham which saw them drop to third in League One with the Millers replacing them at the top of the table.
“It was disappointing,” the 25-year-old said. “For whatever reason we weren’t at the races and we never played football. We’ve been doing well recently, we came into this off the back of a good run, got ourselves back to the top of the league and wanted to capitalise.
“It was always going to be a tough game but we just weren’t at it and we need to put it right on Saturday now.”
What does he put that down to in the context of such a positive performance at the weekend? “There’s not much, to be fair. Preparations have been perfect. Saturday we put in another good performance and got a good result.
“We’ve worked hard as a team and we’ve stayed together and prepared right, done everything right, come up here and for whatever reason [we weren’t at the races].
“I don’t know if you can put that down to their style, us getting sucked into their style of things.
“We didn’t get the ball down enough, which suits them. When you’re lumping the ball forwards, they’re always going to be up to the fight.
“For some reason we didn’t create, didn’t play our game. Like I said, we’re going to look to put that right on Saturday.”
Jackson dismissed suggestions that the more physical Millers bullied the Blues: “I don’t think you could say they bullied us, we were well in the fight. It’s just when you play that style of football, the ball could drop anywhere.
“I don’t think that Michael Smith up front, I don’t think he won many clean headers to be fair to the lads at the back. I think it literally dropped down.
“Even Flynn [Downes] and Ems [Emyr Huws] in midfield, they were unbelievable. They were fighting. Flynn was up against a 6ft 5in centre midfielder and at times had the better of him.
“We definitely didn’t get bullied, it was just that when you play that style of football it’s 50/50, you flip a coin, is it going to land at their feet? Is it going to land at our feet? And that doesn’t suit us, we need to get the ball down and play a bit more.”
He says the visit of fourth-placed Peterborough at the weekend is a good fixture to have as the Blues look to bounce back and put the disappointment behind them.
“I think that’s going to be a good game to go into off the back of this,” he reflected. “The disappointment, the frustration, we need to take it out on Peterborough on Saturday.
“It’s going to be a totally different style of game, which hopefully will suit us. We’ll prepare right, we’ll work hard and try and do the best we can on Saturday and try and get the win.”
Town played a lot of balls over the top for Jackson but the striker says they weren’t the easiest to deal with.
“I don’t mind a ball over the top to chase but a lot of them were clearances, which to be fair to the lads, you can’t really do much more than when the ball’s dropping down and they’re fighting for it, trying to scramble it away,” he said.
“That’s just the way it goes, it doesn’t suit our game, it doesn’t suit my game when it’s just cleared and lumped anywhere. Like I said before, that’s the kind of game you’re going to be in for here.
“We just need to look to build on a disappointing performance tonight and put it behind us on Saturday.”
Jackson has been partnered up front by Will Keane in recent matches and he says he enjoys playing alongside the former Manchester United trainee.
“It’s good,“ he said. “It’s hard to say after tonight because I don’t think it suited either of us, the fight balls and stuff like that we had to deal with.
“Keano’s a clever player, he’s got a good touch and his technical ability is up with any of the players in the league.
“I’m just happy to be playing whether’s it’s Keano, whether it’s Nors, I don’t mind playing with either of them.
“We’ve got some good players in the squad. We’ve got Bish coming back, Searsy coming back, so the competition’s there, the competition’s healthy, I’m sure that’ll push us on for the final games of the season now.”
Jackson has scored nine times this season with double figures a staging point in a striker’s season.
“To be fair I was aiming for 10 starts, so I’ve got that under my belt,” the former Accrington frontman said. “I’m just looking to build on my performances. I’m just looking to get better as a player and put in better performances than I have tonight.
“I was disappointed, for whatever reason I didn’t get into the game. It was one to forget but I’ll look to put that behind me and Saturday hopefully put it right and as a team.”
Jackson believes the players in the midfield behind the strikers are capable of creating the chances for them to put away.
“Yes, 100 per cent. I said before that it’s games like this when you know the chances are going to be limited that when we get a sight of goal we need to be better,” he added.
“I personally need to be better. I should have got a better contact on the shot, I should have put a better cross in, stuff like that.
“It’s disappointing but we’ve got the squad that will supply us strikers, so I’m just looking forward to the last few games of the season and build on the goal tally and the assist tally.”
Jackson says an important aspect of his role is to press opposition defenders: “Definitely, the team needs me to do that and I’m happy to do that.
“You’ve seen me do that a lot recently and it’s something that I’ll always do, as long as my body allows me to I’ll always work hard for the team and give my all and look to help the defenders and midfielders out by closing off passing lines, whether that’s stopping long balls at source, I’ll give my all for the team.”
Turning to the state of the division, Jackson says it’s currently very open with several sides below the top three capable of making a push.
“Yes, there are a lot of good teams, Coventry, Lincoln, Peterborough, there are a lot of good teams and it is wide open,” he said.
“We just need to concentrate on our own game. We’ve definitely got the quality in the squad, we just need to make that come together on a Saturday and a Tuesday night and look to kick on.
“There’s no better game to look to put this one behind us now than Peterborough. It’s going to be a massive game and it’s going to be one we need to win.”
Meanwhile, Jackson spoke about Jordan Sinnott, the 25-year-old Matlock Town footballer who died after being attacked during a night out at the weekend.
Jackson and Sinnott were both born in Bradford and the Town striker says he’d known him for some years.
“I knew of Jordan since I was about 16, I think,” he said. “We had mutual friends and I played against him a couple of times.
“It was unbelievable when I found out on Saturday, it was a phone call I wish I hadn’t taken.
“It’s one of those things that no one likes to hear of. There’s not much you can say. It’s just tragic and my thoughts go out to his family and friends who must be struggling at this time.
“I’m sure if they have the same energy that Jordan did they’ll celebrate his life and just be as happy as they can be and hopefully be positive.”
Rotherham’s Matt Crooks was very close to Sinnott and missed the Millers’ defeat at Peterborough on Saturday due to the news. The midfielder and his team-mates wore black armbands during last night’s match.
“I know Crooksy and Sinnott had their scholarships together at Huddersfield,” Jackson added. “It must have been horrible. You don’t want to hear of people you know passing, you don’t want to hear of anyone passing, especially in circumstances like that.
“It was a difficult night I’m sure for him and a difficult night for a lot of people I’m sure. It’s just one of those things you don’t want to hear again.”
Sinnott’s brother Tom has asked for clubs to donate shirts for the funeral with ‘Sinnott 25’ on the back, which sides throughout football have done. The shirts will subsequently be given to Sport Relief and then sent to children abroad.
“It just goes to show what kind of guy Sinnott was, he was loved by everybody and he loved everybody,” Jackson, pictured above with Crooks, added.
“He was just such a positive guy, such a happy guy and I’m glad that they’re able to do something in his memory and I’ll support that 100 per cent.”
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