Matt Robson on fine tuning ahead of the new season
We caught up with left-sided player Matt Robson when he popped along to the end of week prize giving ceremony at former-Blues defender Peter Murphy’s Hype soccer school on Friday afternoon.
“I don’t think any of us mind doing appearances like this because you can see that it gives the kids a lift,” he said. “I think we’re seeing more and more Carlisle shirts around town these days anyway.
“I’ve been here six years now and that side of things has definitely increased. It’s great to see because it’s quite a tight knit community round here, so the more the merrier. It’s always nice to see the youngsters in a blue shirt because they are the future of the club when it comes down to it.”
It was back to action at Workington on Saturday following a short break with a tight hamstring and the popular wide man admitted that he was chomping at the bit.
“The lay-off was more of a precautionary thing than anything else,” he confirmed. “It was three days I missed in the end but it was probably vital for me to do it.
“I had a bit of fatigue in the hamstrings but I’ve done a few tests and they seem to be stronger than they were a week ago. It appears the little rest has done me the world of good so I’m more than ready to go again.”
“You have to remember that it’s all about being ready for 9 August,” he continued. “You don’t win any medals for winning pre-season games.
“It’s about getting your fitness up and, if things don’t feel right, you do have that time to sort it out. Being the way I am, as soon as the rehab work was done I wanted to be back out there and playing games. That’s the stage I’m at now.”
“It was definitely frustrating to miss out on the Sunderland game the other night,” he confirmed. “Friendly or not, I still wanted to play against them. It will always mean something when it’s the team you support but, and having said that, I was just as gutted to miss the Barrow game.
“It’s good that I was back for Workington because every player in the squad is working hard to show the manager they’re ready. We now have Dumbarton and St Mirren to cement that and hopefully I’ve done enough to get in that starting eleven. If not I’ll be right there giving my backing to whoever it is who gets the shirt.”
“July always seems to fly by and it’s four weeks already since we’ve been back in,” he said. “I don’t know if that’s down to the different work we’ve been doing or what it is. Once the games come round it always seems to progress faster anyway and I think that’s because all we ever really want to do is play as many minutes as you can.
“The different approach to pre-season this year has kept things fresh and it’s kept us all on our toes. There’s something new happening every day and we seem to have done a lot of ball work and football fitness. I think the lads have responded and got on board with it all. It’s been tough, and we’ve all been kept guessing, but the main thing is that it’s been enjoyable.”
And the lads were handed a further surprise last week when the Army Outreach Team came up to Brunton Park to put them through some command and control exercises.
“The training with the army was excellent,” he told us. “It’s something the first team has never done before but I know our youth team have done it regularly, certainly since I’ve been here.
“We had a series of mental challenges to do, with a bit of a physical aspect, and it took a while for us to get going on some of them. We had a few that we breezed through but I wouldn’t like to do what those lads and lasses have to do out in Afghanistan with bullets flying at you, and stuff like that. You’ve got to give them a huge amount of respect for that. They were quite easy on us in the end. The heat was unreal, at 28 degrees, but we enjoyed it and everyone really got involved.”
With just two friendly fixtures left to play he also admitted that the arrival of Danny Grainger had brought an almost immediate understanding over on the left flank.
“It’s funny sometimes because you seem to know some players straight away,” he commented. “I don’t why it happens but you can see how they want to play and what they want to do. I don’t know if that comes with experience or whether it comes naturally on some occasions.
“I think it really stood out for us at Penrith because I knew when he was going to bomb on or when he was going to hold his ground. He said to me afterwards that he felt comfortable with doing it because he knew instinctively that I’d be dropping behind to cover him. It’s good to have that.
“A lot of the work all of us have done this pre-season has been making sure we understand our roles in the team and the things we have to do in certain areas of the pitch. I’ve been in the game 12 years now but I still want to learn and better myself. Danny and the rest of the new lads have been a breath of fresh air and hopefully it will all come together to give us a fantastic season.”
United Player subscribers can see a video interview with Matt Robson now. Click HERE to go to the Player platform. Follow the same link for more information on United Player, and to subscribe.
to see a clip from this interview on our YouTube channel. Follow the same link for more FREE content right from the heart of the club.