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Work behind the scenes earns reward

Reporter: Robbie Simpson
Date online: 14 December 2012

The Latics star writes every week for Chron Sport

OUR preparations for Colchester could hardly have paid off any better.

When Jean-Yves Mvoto headed home the first goal the whole bench leapt to their feet.

Why? Because it was the same goal from the same routine that we had been working on in training.

It was great to see the work behind the scenes pay off in a game situation. Just like it did as we cut Colchester open time and again going forward.

Every day in training we work on playing the ball up to the striker, who gives it back to the midfield to feed a third runner. And it seemed that every time we did that on Saturday, it paid off.

The slightly fortunate way we scored our second goal — which spun off the full-back’s heel before Jose Baxter slid in to make sure — didn’t do the quality of our play justice.

On a personal level, it felt good to get a run-out in the reserves against Burton.

Though I came on briefly at Colchester without feeling any ill-effect the next day, it was important to test out my groin and pelvis over a longer period; the hour on Tuesday afternoon did that job.

AS AN Arsenal fan, it was a huge shock to lose to Bradford this week — and that despite fielding almost a full-strength team.

I am still a big Arsene Wenger fan, but it might be he could take a leaf out of Sir Alex Ferguson’s book by being more receptive to change.

From Athletic’s point of view, we can take heart. It showed again the power of the knockout competitions to produce upsets. We’ll be looking to produce another when we go to Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup early next year...


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