Jackson: Every Player Wants an FA Cup Run
Friday, 6th Nov 2020 13:06
The FA Cup may no longer be everyone’s cup of tea but no Town player is looking forward to tomorrow’s first round tie at home to Portsmouth more than fit-again striker Kayden Jackson.
There’s a very good reason for that – Jackson is anxious to make up for time lost to injury and the Covid-19 virus – but he is also tantalised by the prospect of a glamour tie at one of the Premier League big boys when they enter at the third round stage.
That means not only overcoming Pompey but also making it through the second round stage, but Jackson claimed: “I think every player wants a cup run and especially in the FA Cup. It’s one of the biggest trophies there is in football and one of the most famous in the entire game.
“There’s the chance of playing away at some massive clubs but we can’t get carried away. We’ve got Portsmouth in front of us first and we need to go into tomorrow’s game full of confidence.
“We need to play like we are doing but with more of a goal threat, which means looking to create a few more chances and seeing where it takes us.”
Jackson only made his first start of the season in the narrow midweek defeat at Sunderland and is therefore keen to sample some more first team action tomorrow, although it remains to be seen whether boss Paul Lambert opts for him or the player who replaced him at the Stadium of Light, ex-Pompey frontman Oli Hawkins, who also claimed his first goal for the club to decide last week’s home clash with Crewe.
The two contenders for the role of main striker are vastly different types, but Jackson added: “I think I showed on at least a couple of occasions on Tuesday that I can deal with balls played into my chest. If the balls are good enough from the lads I’m happy enough.
“Our football has been better this season in terms of keeping possession and I’m sure the longer we play like this the better we will become at it.
“The next thing we need to work on is perhaps going forward with more of a goal threat and creating chances, because we have kept the ball well at the back but we need to build that into our attacking play.
“I’m happy to adapt and play anywhere the gaffer asks me to play. If we get the football right I’m sure any one of the three attacking positions would be good for me.
“My movement up there could only help the team and create space for the midfielders, who have been among the goals this season.
“I’m not a player who likes to stand still; I like to be moving, whether that be running to get on the ball or moving defenders out of the way for others.
“That has to be one of the biggest parts of my game and I think my movement can help the team.
“When I’m fully fit, which is hopefully only a couple of weeks away, I like to think I can keep going and going at high speed.
“That’s quite rare in the game and defenders don’t enjoy playing against that type of player, whether I’m running in behind for the ball or I’m running directly at them. I like to be in their faces and make the game as hard as possible for them.”
Asked how much he had missed things like winning headers and scoring goals, Jackson laughed: “Maybe not so much the winning headers – that’s not really my game – but as a footballer all you want to do is to get out on the pitch and play.
“The way I finished last season, I felt as if I was playing well and that I had been heavily involved, whether it was scoring or creating goals or working hard and being a pest to defenders.
“I felt I was doing well, had a good bit of momentum and was playing consistently.
“These are strange times for us all and I never expected to miss as much football as I have.
“Players have bad injuries and have that kind of lay-off, but when you’re fit and well, able to play and there aren’t any games being played, that was really frustrating.
“But thankfully we’ve come through that and the football’s going to carry on. We don’t know how long that is going to last but we just have to make the most of it while it’s on.”
Finally, Jackson is only too aware of the threat that ex-Town striker Ellis Harrison poses after the pair were team-mates after arriving around the same time at Portman Road during Paul Hurst’s brief tenure as manager.
He added: “I think Ellis showed when we went to Portsmouth last season in the league and drew 2-2 how good he can be. I think the defenders on the day – Chambo and Luke Woolfenden – knew they were in a game playing against him.
“He’s a handful and he is what it says on the tin – hard-working, good in the air, plus he can hold the ball up and bring others into the game.
“He’s got a good team around him as well and their striker, John Marquis, is in good form. They have a lot of good attacking players and they’re solid at the back as well, so it’s going to be a tough test.
“But we need to concentrate on our own game. We must play as well as we know we can do, create more chances and look to take them.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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