Daddy Gooch

Well congratulations to Lynden Gooch on the birth of his son, Oax Adam Ezra Gooch! The gaffer has been chatting about Gooch’s progression this season. Ross said: “He had a couple of days at the start of the week where he was busy with other things but hopefully he’ll enjoy that little honeymoon period before reality kicks in. I think his season’s been great so far. I wasn’t maybe completely aware of the difference between the minutes he’d played last season and the minutes he’s played so far this season – it’s huge and that’s brilliant for him, I think he’s loved it. The contribution he’s made has been great, but very different because playing week in, week out, is mentally very different from playing sporadically. He’ll still be making a contribution over the course of the season because he trains well. I noticed very early in the job when I watched players warming up how Lynden and George Honeyman got it right every time and that’s credit to how they’ve been educated in the academy. Kevin Ball was responsible for that group and they’ve got really good habits as well as being good players. They just fit with the club and have that passion for it as well. It’s also important because it shows there’s a pathway, and that’s important as well so that young players believe they can get into the first team.”

Jack Ross has been bigging up Will Grigg ahead of then trip to Oxford United this weekend. “I think there was a clear understanding in terms of us trying to find a replacement for Josh (Maja) or to try and strengthen our attacking options. Will Grigg was a player that we identified early and was for a long time our priority, our number one what we wanted to bring to the club. The fact is that we managed to bring a player to the club that is very much proven in this league, and I’m sure will be an asset for us over these two or three months that are remaining in the season. You look at goals to game ratio, the divisions that he’s done that in. First and foremost, as I mentioned there, Will’s track record in this league is as good as anyone’s. He’s obviously achieved success as well, not just individually but as part of a collective, in terms of achieving promotion from this division. In that respect he ticks almost every box, he’s got an international pedigree as well, character-wise he fits very much in with the group at the moment, so just overall just a really good signing for us and one that I’m sure will help us over these remaining league fixtures and cup fixtures that we have.”

Despite having a strong and almost fully fit squad at his disposal, Jack Ross is well aware of the challenge that Oxford will pose. “I think at a couple of Oxford’s recent home games they’ve played against the likes of Portsmouth and Barnsley and they’ve produced good results as well, so that is another indicator of how good a team that they are, that they can be on their day. The challenge for us is being consistently difficult each and every game. The home games we spoke about provided a different challenge and, in each and every away game, I think a lot of the time has resulted in the opposing team’s biggest crowd of the season - I gather that will be the same on Saturday. That all adds to the occasion if you like and the challenge that we face. It was a difficult match when we played Oxford at home, obviously made even more difficult by the fact we were a man short for large parts of it, but we know that we have to play well to win the game on Saturday."