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INTERVIEW: It's about showing the manager you're ready

Jason Kennedy on the Carlisle City friendly

9 July 2017

Midfielder Jason Kennedy put last season’s injury woes well and truly behind him on Saturday afternoon when he carried on from where he’d left off at the Exeter City game in May with two very well taken goals.

We spoke to him about what had been a very enjoyable meeting with Carlisle City shortly after full time.

“It always feels good to score,” he said. “I got a goal down at Exeter and it’s nice to continue that with two in this game. More importantly I got 45 minutes under my belt, which was brilliant.

“The gaffer’s been saying all week that the best way to get fit for football is to play games. We do our running round the track, and stuff like that, but it is completely different once you get onto the pitch.

“We’re all pleased to have got 45 minutes and hopefully it’ll be more of the same when we play on Tuesday and Wednesday. It does feel like you’re blowing off a few cobwebs because you do get a bit rusty over the summer period.

“It felt a bit more like I needed to do that with the injury I had last season, but hopefully I’ll be flying once we get to the Swindon game.”

Having built up a reputation for poaching goals inside the six-yard box we couldn’t miss the opportunity to point out that yesterday’s strikes had been eye-catching affairs from quite some distance.

“I was pleased with them and, yes, they were quite far out weren’t they!” he commented. “It was obviously enjoyable to get them both but if it has to be tap-ins come the start of the season I’ll take those as well. It’s about being in the right place at the right time because every goal counts.

“The other thing to bear in mind is that these games are about showing the manager you’re ready. There’s a lot of competition in the midfield area at the moment and everyone is working hard to make sure they’re in the reckoning.

Every day is a competition on the training pitch and the games are a chance to impress ...

Jason Kennedy

“Every day is a competition on the training pitch and the games are a chance to impress. The gaffer told us that before the game and I think we all did really well. I’d hate to be him when it comes to having to make the decision for the first game against Swindon because we all want to be involved.

“I’m sure there’ll be more new faces coming in as well to add to the mix. The new lads already have brought new skills and I think that’s going to help us to progress. When everyone is fighting for a place it brings a real hunger to be in the team.”

And with a push for promotion being openly talked about again we wondered if the play-off experience was still in the back of the mind now that the lads are well into their pre-season programme.

“What happened down at Exeter has to spur us on this season,” he said. “We’ve progressed year-on-year and we have to go one better again this season. We have to go up and it really doesn’t matter which way we do it.

“I think it’s the only way we can go from last season. Speaking honestly as a player I think anything else would be a failure.”

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