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    Paul Hart


A kick up the backside - 19/01/2004

A kick up the backside
The gaffer - he wants a more competitive spirit
   Gudjon Thordarson
   Colchester United
   Brighton and Hove Albion
   Scunthorpe United

We’ve not had the best of form over the last few weeks, going out of the FA Cup to Scunthorpe was very disappointing and with two draws and a home defeat in the league – it’s been worrying.

Scunthorpe had a game plan – kick it long and try and win the second ball. To be honest, they out fought us and that’s something that isn’t acceptable. We had two bites of the cherry with the home game and then the replay at their place and rightly so, the gaffer ripped in to us.

In between the Scunthorpe fixtures we had an away game at Colchester and our first half display was poor. Once again the gaffer let us know what he thought of our performance and the kick up the backside seemed to have worked as we had a much better second half and managed to get an equaliser through Kevin Betsy.

Then came the game against Bournemouth at Oakwell. I’d been called into the managers office and he asked me to do a job for him. I must admit that it was a bit of a surprise to be told I’d be playing up front. He wanted me as a target man to win the ball and lay it off. It seemed to work in that I was awarded the man of the match award, and in the process had a goal disallowed and hit the post. I really enjoyed the experience and although nothing’s been said about continuing as a striker, I’d like to play there again. It’s not entirely new to me  as from the age of nine to fourteen I was a striker before dropping back to midfield and defence.

It’s a trip to Brighton on Saturday and it’s not going to be easy. They’re handily placed in 7th spot and although we beat them 1-0 early in the season, they’ve recovered well from losing their manager and have put a decent run together before having a dodgy spell I recent games. If we focus and play with a bit more aggression in our game we’ll have a fair chance – it’s games like this that are all important – it’s effectively a six-pointer!

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