Striker Ryan Loft got off the mark for the club in style at the weekend as he bagged the winner for the Blues in what was a tough game at Glanford Park.
The 21-year-old joined United on a season-long loan from Leicester ahead of the start of the 2019/20 campaign and was delighted to register his first senior goal to help the lads notch up their first away league victory.
Speaking about his goal shortly after full time on Saturday evening, he commented: “Do you know what, I’m obviously delighted to get my first league goal but, more importantly, to help to give the team the three points, there’s just no better feeling than giving something back.
“I feel like that obviously topped off my game and it’s great for the team, because we had to dig in quite a lot. I’m just glad we got the three points.”
With everyone agreeing that it was a case of ‘winning ugly’ he said: “Sometimes you just have to ride those games out, do you know what I mean?
“Not every game is going to go the way you want it to go. That was a scruffy one and chances were created by both teams, but sometimes you just have to grind it out.
“It’s massive because three points this early in the season can put you anywhere in the table. If we didn’t get the win we’d have been right at the bottom, and when you see that you’re higher up the table you can take confidence and you can look to go forward to achieve more.”
With plenty to do to even get into a shooting position as the ball came his way, he explained how a kick from the keeper was turned into a goal, and just how it felt when he saw it hit the back of the net.
“It was a long kick forward and I held the defender off a little bit, and his header wasn’t the greatest,” he said. “I spun off the back of him and followed the line of the ball, and I think it has Harry [McKirdy] who flicked it around the corner, so I got into my stride and put my foot through it.
“It’s not the cleanest I’ve ever hit a shot but, at the end of that day, sometimes they go in.”
“Until you do it, until you experience it, you can’t describe it,” he said about having now got off the mark. “It’s happened today and I can’t tell you the feeling it gives you. It’s that extra bit of confidence, especially when you get to celebrate with the fans as well.
“It makes you feel more part of the team because you’ve given something back to them. I think that’s the most important bit. The fact that the goal won the game is nice as a forward, and sometimes you know that one goal can that can make the difference.
“One hundred percent it feels good that it’s the winner, and hopefully there’s many more. We obviously don’t want the games to go like that, but if I can keep scoring as many goals as I can I’ll be happy.”
And scoring in front of the travelling supporters added another layer of icing to an already tasty cake.
“They were absolutely brilliant,” he agreed. “We’re never disappointed with their numbers and every single one of them showed their passion.
“Even before the game when it was raining they were still there singing their songs. When you have support behind you like that it gives you that little bit more of a boost, so to get the win for them is great.
“Any forward will say that it’s goals that will boost you. With me, the games I’ve played recently haven’t got me a goal, but I’ve tried to do other stuff to help. I’m just over the moon with the goal, it fills me with confidence and hopefully I’ll try to get more in the games ahead.”
Having started the game on the bench, he was given the nod to take over up front for the second half with the manager looking for a different kind of approach to the game.
“He told me to just go on there and put myself about,” he said. “We wanted me to try to stretch the game a bit so we were going a little bit longer.
“I didn’t do it the greatest today, if I’m being honest, but luckily I got the goal. The main thing he wanted from me was to be physical and to try to help the team get higher up the pitch.
“The perks of being on the bench is you can see what’s on the pitch and it’s probably what the players out there can’t see as much.
“You can watch and see where you’re getting joy and where you’re not, and if you concentrate you can always see where you can exploit other teams. That’s what I kind of did in terms of winning the first ball and exploiting the space behind, and that’s where my goal came from.”
“Physicality is definitely something I can bring to the game,” he added. “People look at me as a big player so you do have to live up to that a little bit. It’s about giving as much as you can to help the team.
“Physicality in these kinds of games is important so you have to try to hold your own, and if you can do that it’s better for everybody.
“I’ve tried to make an impact, and previous loans haven’t gone my way. I feel like I’ve settled in well here though and it’s great a bunch of lads. The manager and coaching staff have given me confidence and I’m just happy that I’ve rewarded them with a goal and a win.”
With the home game against Exeter coming next, he said: “If you look at all the games we’ve played in I’d say that, apart from a couple where we’ve been a little bit sloppy, you can see that we’re not far away from being a really good team.
“The performances have been there but we’ve lacked a little bit in the final third. Going forward this game should give us a lot of confidence.
“Exeter will be another big challenge, but getting the three points gives us more confidence going into it. They’ll be a good team, obviously I was there previously, and they’ve been up there quite a few seasons in a row.
“My spell there was hit and miss for me, but for them they got into the play-off finals, so they were on a high. More importantly this year, at Carlisle, I feel like I’m more part of the team and I feel like I’m enjoying my team here.
“It’s another game we take in our stride as we try to get another three points.”
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