Still Loved Up

Jack Ross has been picking through the bones of Saturday’s fantastic win against Charlton. God, I loved it, better calm down. Ross said: “All the time in football your highlights always shift because the most recent becomes the most enjoyable. In management I have had quite a lot of good times in the last couple of years, but for noise and intensity after those goals it was incredible. You don’t get that in many football stadiums, that level of passion and reaction to scoring goals, it was fantastic to be part of it and makes you want more of it. It will never determine your season but for us, for what the club has been through, what the fans have had to endure and experienced, it almost felt like a cleansing if you like. I think the fans came, they stuck with us massively, they seen a team that was passionate about playing. There were mistakes, of course they did, but it was a young side who will experience things together on and off the pitch and it was really powerful. What happened can forge a stronger bond. I felt like the fans have bought into the young players from the off. I had heard interesting things, from players and staff, about why we have not done well here in recent years. “I had synergy with that at my recent club, the advantage I had here was that it was a clean start for me and for us all as oppose to having the change mid-season. “I was always conscious of that and I was saying if we can get a team on the pitch that will have the energy and intensity then I thought we would get the fans’ support. We have to keep that intensity going and the bond.”

Ross the Boss also gave an injury and transfer update: “Possibly there could be a couple more outs, and then we may have to assess the situation - assess Jerome’s hamstring injury, the seriousness of that. That will leave us light in forward areas because we already were. Even on Saturday when you look at the bench it was all academy players and even then Jerome is young, although Bryan Oviedo obviously has experience. I would expect there will be a little more movement on transfers but I wanted this game out of the way first and then we would maybe have a look. The loan window (closes at the end of August) does give you the extra option. It’s nice to know when we get beyond the window that we have that bit of extra time to try to do a few things.”

Jack Ross also explained his decision to replace Luke O’Nien at half time. He said: “It was a decision to change the system to get Jerome on the pitch,” said Ross. “It was hard to throw Luke in, in terms of the way we play because it’s different to what we have been used to. “He has only just come to the club, he is getting to know players names and adjusting to training. He was delighted we won the game. He is young lad who was brought here for partly his potential as well. He will play an important part of this season as well. There is no transfer. What I felt about Lee felt right for today and I went for. Bali Mumba wasn’t a risk for me. He was playing because we had limited options. Was he outstanding? No. Was he good? Yes. Was he responsible? Yes. He has a brilliant future ahead of him.”

Lynden Gooch was on cloud nine after the game on Saturday and had this so say about his last-minute winner. “It was amazing. It’s what everyone dreams of. That’s what you play for, a last-minute winner. No matter what it’s the best feeling. It’s the first time it’s ever happened to me and I’m glad it happened on Saturday, at home. A comeback win, I don’t even remember the last time we’ve had that We’ve just got to take that confidence and belief in ourselves that if we do go a goal down, so be it. Just keep playing. Everyone gave everything. I was the lucky one to get the last-minute winner but everyone to a man put a shift. I think that showed the character of the team. In previous years we might have crumbled. We didn’t. As soon as they scored you heard the roar of the fans, they really got behind us. We just needed to stay patient, just keep plugging away like the gaffer said and trying to create chances and that’s what we did. We kept to the gameplan. There’s been a lot of changes and I think you could feel the sense of optimism around the place with all the fans coming back,” he added. “Thirty thousand is amazing but we all know they’re Premier League fans in a Premier League stadium and the rest of it so we need to make sure that we don’t get ahead of ourselves, but we just keep going, take it into the next game.”

Gooch also spoke about adding more goals to his game this season. “I want to score as many goals as I can and that’s a big part that I’m trying to change, I’m trying to attack the ball. I’m not a big lad but I know if I attack things I’m strong and as long as I get there they’ll hopefully fly in. Wing-back, that was a first for me! I was basically playing as a winger, really. Their left-back got booked early on so he couldn’t afford to foul me, and I just had to keep pushing him back to his own goal rather than him pushing me back. It’s definitely something new but you know what? I’ll take the goal. I’ll play wing-back every week if I’m scoring headers.”

Captain George Honeyman has also been reflecting on the victory. “It doesn’t get much better than that, to start with a win and to get a last-minute winner - I’m delighted,” he said. “It is something to build on. We want to enjoy the moment now, but it has to be the same next week away at Luton. The club has turned a fresh page, it is a completely new club from top to bottom and the positivity around the place before the game was there for us all to see. We were all aware of that, we just wanted to give the fans something back for their support after back-to-back relegations. To have that many fans there while it was on TV was amazing. Hopefully it can snowball now and if we keep up that level of performance it will just get better and better. I didn’t get much sleep on Friday. I woke up nice and early and was practically bouncing off the walls. I tried to calm myself down because I needed the energy on the pitch, but it is a day I will never forget. The job has only just started though, it is a good start but there’s a long way to go.”