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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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cat added 06:46 - Jan 29
Weren’t at the races? we didn’t make it to Yorkshire! Complete contrast to Saturdays buzzing performance. Looked to me like the tactics were wrong, trying to lump it over the top and run in behind clearly didn’t work. Last 10 we showed some spirit, need to carry that into Saturdays game and get back on track. No need to panic, it was always gonna be a tough ask.

Edmundo added 07:58 - Jan 29
Lovely touch by Jackson to talk about Sinnot. Top bloke, and a tragedy that reminds us that football is just a distraction.

raycrawfordswig added 08:39 - Jan 29
Sunday pub team performance ,never know what side will turn up.

algarvefan added 08:39 - Jan 29
I thought Rotherham were terrific, best side we have played this season, Barlaser and Adelasun were outstanding and we were beaten by a better side on the night, but only 1-0 and we could have nicked a draw at the death, which would have been tough on Rotherham. Time to stop moaning and move on to the Posh on Saturday, lets hope we make it to the racetrack this time!!

LondonTractor added 09:17 - Jan 29
The fact is that we are the 5th or 6th best team in this division and I don't know why anyone would think we are better than that. Rotherham, Peterboro, Sunderland, Portsmouth and possibly Coventry are all better than us. So that leaves us in the play-offs.
'We weren't at the races' is not an excuse, what more firing up do you need to know that you will go four points clear at the top if you win?? Our physicality and work rate is miles behind the likes of Rotherham and Portsmouth and our goal scoring numbers aren't good enough - we are an easy touch.
Having said that, we are a unquestionably a League One team with League One players. IMO we only have 2 or 3 that are good enough to play in the Championship (Downes, Wolfenden and Garbutt - and Garbutt isn't even ours!). So 4th, 5th or 6th in the play-offs will be a superb achievement for this group of players.

blueherts added 10:40 - Jan 29
Who said we would bounce straight back up ? 9 points behind Rotherham last season and I was not surprised , but the performance was woeful . I am not sure what plan we had . Cried out for a physical presence up top aka Norwood from the start
Always fancied a trip to Wembley and go up that way again ala 2000 . Atleast we will then have played at the new Wembley !!

dirtydingusmagee added 10:58 - Jan 29
forget playoffs , we have not got the will or skill to go up. We are an average Lge1 team ,its been written on the wall for a long time, those that said we will rip up Lge1 need to get real.

OsborneOneNil added 11:22 - Jan 29
What a load of whinge bags on here. Cheer up, see how we do on Saturday.

Saxonblue74 added 13:08 - Jan 29
Consistency wins promotion, something we're struggling to find and have all season. We've heard too often about "putting it right next game". Posh will score goals Saturday, we need to be far more creative if we're to compete with them.

itfctim added 13:12 - Jan 29
Got as far as 'Huws was unbelievable' and tired of the delusion.

ThaiBlue added 14:10 - Jan 29
Sorry 2 say but we think we are a good side but we are just bang fluency or class in this side,feel for the super supporters home and away who watch this.lets hope the start begins saturday v the posh.

PortmanTerrorist added 14:14 - Jan 29
Think we do need to calm down. Biggest problem all season has been creating and scoring goals. Apart from last night, the midfield is improved but still need more, much more from Huws and Judge....esp with Bishop now ready to play.

I won't give Edwards a hard time as I think he is doing the best he can probably, but is an unreliable tool for the Wing-back spot as his prior career history confirms and is just keeping KVY spot warm, but we simply have not played strikers who can create out of nothing. Maybe Keane but he not a natural striker and will never be prolific, almost a luxury.

We have to try Sears and Norwood up top. The most natural strikers we have and both have shown they can be prolific given the service. If nothing else, those 2 on our team sheet would make the opposition think twice....I doubt any opposition teams make any plans for, or have concerns about, the 2 that started last night !

londontractorboy57 added 14:17 - Jan 29
Been saying it for along while we beat average teams unconvincingly then expect to beat the top teams, delusion.
Still we were better being relegated than keep Mickma said the foul mouthed numbskulls yet here we are, football the same if not worse destined to spend the next few seasons in League 1.
Funny old game you get what you wish for seeeexy football in league 1 Melts.

Pilgrimblue added 14:32 - Jan 29
Well we better be this weekend. So far we've only beaten lower level teams.
Biggest problem is lack of goals. Must play Norwood and Bishop and maybe revert to 442 as Posh will attack down the wings.
Not optimistic though that PL will make the changes apart from replacing Huws with goal machine Skuse!

DifferentGravy added 17:11 - Jan 29
Best side we have played??? I thought they were dreadful. They played to their strengths.....big , strong players, lump it forward, long ball after long ball, kick, pull, cheat, obstruct and try and get the opposition booked at every opportunity...........having said all worked! We were bullied, panicked on the ball and ended up punting it. Rotherham fully deserved the win but i have little admiration for them.

The players have to take responsibility.......why punt it long ......and to Keane who simply cannot win a header. Not a game for Judge either, out muscled all over the show....yet he waits until 70+ mins before subbing him!

Disappointed not to see Teddy. Their donkeys would have tried to kick him left right and centre as he waltzed past them. Norwood needs to start......HES OUR TOP GOALCORER! He did more in the time on the pitch(won more headers too....proves you dont have to be a giant) than Keane and Jackson combined. Flynne played ever so well under the circumstances.

Lambert knew their physical game plan(that undid us previously), and decided our line up/performances of late were good enough.........fine, i accept that. But once you see its not working.....ADAPT!!! Dont just continue battering your head against a brick wall, it was a matter of time before they scored from a set piece and without us creating anything.....erm......think that means we cant win


budgieplucker added 20:52 - Jan 29
I always felt that we were likely to be bullied out of a result here.

Before the match I would have quite happily accepted a draw here regardless of the performance as this was always going to be a scrap of a match to come away with something.

So happy to move on and forget this one, however, slightly concerned that yet again we failed to turn up. It seems just as we get a good system going and some real optimism is created of a back of a few good performances we then are made to look poor.

Also given that we haven’t beaten a team in the top nine it does question if we have the fibre to get out of this league. Rotherham are not necessarily the best team in League 1 but are the best team at Playing League 1 football.

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