Striker Jabo Ibehre on the first hat-trick of his career
Striker Jabo Ibehre made it six goals from three appearances with his first ever professional hat-trick against Cambridge on Saturday but he insisted that there is still more to come when we caught up with him at the post-match press conference.
“I’m very pleased with how things have started,” he said. “I’m chuffed for myself and the team because we had a good pre-season. It was an interesting and tough one, and we were pushed to our limits – often into areas we didn’t think we could get to – but sometimes you can have a decent build up and it doesn’t come with you into pre-season.
“We’re getting sharper and we’re taking on board what the gaffer is saying, so we’ve managed to carry it on. Maybe we’ve gained an extra yard and more focus in the mind, and hopefully it can only get better as well.”
“On a personal level, I couldn’t have imagined I’d have six goals after the first three games,” he admitted. “Fortunately I got to score on my debut and I’m very happy that I’ve been able to go on with what I’m doing.
“The hat-trick was my first one ever. I’m trying to keep cool about it but I really am chuffed! It’s fantastic for me to get the man of the match award and the match ball. It’s the kind of thing you work hard for throughout your career and through the week.
“It’s nice to see that hard work pay off every now and again. It’s great to get the goals but I think there’s still more to come from me with my sharpness, holding it up and getting at people a bit more. Who knows what’s going to happen when I get to that point.”
“I think it’s hard to pick a favourite of the six so far because they all have their own values,” he commented. “The third one in this game to get us the draw was really pleasing. I anticipated that the ball could possibly come out, with the knock downs that were happening, so I decided to stay back on the edge of the box just in case. It did come to me, so I struck it, and fortunately it went in.
“The second one against Chesterfield was one where I threw myself across it because I guessed the cross was going to go there. I could see what I wanted to do in my head before it happened and I managed to get a good connection. I think that’s probably my favourite at the moment.”
On the style of play the team has adopted, he said: “It’s early days yet but it could be very good for everyone. We’re using lots of width, and we have balls going into the box, so that gives me, Charlie [Wyke], Derek [Asamoah], Steven [Rigg] and Kevin [Osei] plenty to work with. There are going to be loose balls and knock downs at this level when you get deliveries into the area so it’s up to us to be sharp enough to get onto them.
“It definitely looks like there’s an attitude where we aren’t going to get beat. We were really positive at half time because we knew we were still in the game. When you’re playing you’re not happy at one down, so it’s even worse when it goes to two.
“We could have folded when they went ahead just before half time but we kept going and it almost feels like a win now with doing what we did. We’re all in it together and there’ll be days where we miss chances and the defence digs us out of it. Today was a day for the forwards but I think this kind of game shows we’ll continue to score goals once we wrap everything up and get tighter across all areas of the pitch.
“I’m sure it was a good game to watch for the neutral but it was tough to be out there. Coming away with a valuable point at the end of it was really good.”
And on the much talked about trip to Plymouth, he said: “It’s part and parcel of being with this club. It’ll be interesting but we’re going there for a good result.”
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