Heart-to-heart with boss lifts Rooney
Reporter: Matthew Chambers
Date online: 18 October 2013
ADAM Rooney’s return to form has been spurred by a face-to-face meeting with manager Lee Johnson.
Before last week’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tie at Deepdale, the club’s big summer signing had a conversation with his boss in which he opened up on a lack of confidence.
Rooney (25) had previously been a prolific scorer in Scotland and had a respectable record at Swindon last season, but was left on the bench at Crawley last month.
After the pep talk Rooney had an instant impact; teeing up Danny Philliskirk’s goal at Deepdale after 15 seconds.
With Charlie MacDonald champing at the bit to get back in, it appears to be a straight duel between him and Rooney who plays alongside Philliskirk for the home game against Carlisle tomorrow.
“I thought Roons had his best game at Preston. We had a little chat the day before and that freed his mind a bit,” said Johnson, who has had his squad working hard on attacking and defending set pieces this week.
“Sometimes you forget a player you see as senior and expect a lot from is going to have dips in confidence. It was good to speak with him. He changed his outlook. I told him that as long as the performance is good, goals will come.
“When he is on fire he is a very good player in this league. His job and my job are to get him on fire a lot.”
Johnson has meanwhile offered few clues about who will play in goal tomorrow, Paul Rachubka or Mark Oxley.
“Rachubka had a good performance at Preston, but Ox had a couple of good games before that as well,” Johnson said. “It’s a nice problem to have.”
Matteo Lanzoni won’t feature tomorrow, as he is out for at least two weeks with a hamstring problem, but Genseric Kusunga may continue at right-back.
Athletic’s boss played down the significance of tomorrow’s match for league position: “It is a big game, no doubt, but no bigger than any other,” he said. “We still have another 36 to go.
Have Your Say