It’s been one heck of a start to the season for striker Kristian Dennis who has bagged a goal in all three appearances so far, building on the good form he showed during United’s punishing pre-season programme.
His third net bulger, a second-half goal against Shrewsbury on Tuesday, looked like it was enough to at least take the game to penalties until Chey Dunkley popped up for the home side with a late winner.
“We thought we’d go on to do it, especially with scoring so late on, and I was thinking the worst case was that we’d get to penalties,” he said. “We should have taken it to that, it’s always disappointing to concede from a set piece, but we dust ourselves off and go again.
“There’s a lot we can take from it because we’ve had another good team performance against a League One team. We gave it a good go, scored a couple of goals, and the main thing is that it’s back to the league tomorrow and we’ll be looking to shoot up the table.”
On the current level of team performances, he added: “I think it helps how fit we are. We’ve all said that in a few interviews, but it benefits everyone.
“We’ve all got a great understanding with each other and hopefully that’ll continue. Fitness wise pre-season was brutal, with the running and stuff we’ve been doing, but it’s only benefitting us now.
“If we can take it into tomorrow again, hopefully we can start the game in the same way we did against Crawley and Shrewsbury. The weather doesn’t come into it, we just have to deal with that, and I think we’ve prepared for it anyway with the training we’ve done.”
Moving on to his own form, which has seen him net three goals in all three first-team fixtures so far, he admitted that it had been a more than pleasing start to the campaign.
“Everything about it has been good, even though obviously there’s been a few shots that I’ve missed,” he told us. “I’m feeling really confident and I keep doing stuff in training to make sure my finishing is as good as it can be and that I’m getting into the right positions.
“It’s paying off at the minute and long may that continue. Every striker wants to score goals, that’s the main thing about your job, and as long as I keep doing that I’ll be fine.
“With the chances we’re creating hopefully we’ll start to score more goals in the games to come. It’s been one in each of the league games so far and we know it could have been more. Fingers crossed we’ll get a few on the board tomorrow and send the fans home happy.”
A goal per game isn’t an easy thing to do, and he admitted that it’s put a spring in his step with the way it’s gone for him so far.
“I’m buzzing about it,” he confirmed. “Just to get those chances, I do back myself if I get on the end of them. I know I’ve got to keep getting into those positions and hopefully Mox will find me a few more times.”
But are we really giving the midfielder an assist for the opening goal of the season!?
“He said he’s been doing weights in the gym, and that’s why it hit him and fell to me. So, I’ll let him have that one, yeah.”
And in terms of how it felt to get off the mark in the first game, he said: “It definitely takes a weight off your shoulders.
“I think everyone wants to get the goal as quickly as they can, so to do it in the first ten minutes of the game was brilliant.
“It was even better with it being the first game at home, and so early on. It just gives the fans and everybody a lift, so it’s nice to be part of it.”
Various stats have shown that United are right up there when it comes to chances created, another factor that is music to the ears for any forward-thinking player.
“It gives you confidence that if you’re in there they’ll find you,” he said. “Luckily we’ve done that in all three games, there’s been so many chances, and we know we need to be more clinical when they come.
“With Mox, I think it started in the Penrith game in the summer where I made a run, and he looked up and picked me out.
“Straight away I thought, ok, let’s see if this carries on. To be fair he’s tried to find me pretty much in every game so far and I hope he can continue to do that, and we keep winning games because of it.
“On Tuesday night it was the kind of pass where I could have hit it or controlled it, and it puts doubt in the keeper’s mind when he has no idea what you’re going to do.
“It was a great ball, I was able to finish it, and I’m hoping for more of the same. To be honest, it’s not even something we work on in training. It just comes naturally.
“We haven’t tried it once, I don’t think, out on the training pitch, but I’ll keep making the runs in games and I’m sure him and the rest of the lads will be looking for the passes.”
“Like I say, even with the chances I’ve missed, you have to accept there’s nothing you can do about it,” he continued. “You just have to go again. There’s no point in getting yourself down because the next chance might be seconds later, and you’ll miss it because your head’s gone.
“You’ve just got to keep cool, accept that if you’ve missed one there’s nothing you can do about it, and hopefully you get the next one.”
With Swindon at home tomorrow it’s another game where the lads are hoping for good support from the terraces, with over 6,000 having made it for the opening day.
“It’s great to see,” he commented. “Like the other night, when you see them all supporting us and cheering us even though we ended up getting beat, it means a lot.
“Everybody was up and clapping us off the pitch and we know that as long as we keep putting performances in for them, they’ll do that for us.
“It’s up to us to make them want to come, so we have to keep it up against Swindon and the other games that are coming. We know tomorrow won’t be easy, they’re a good side, but we don’t fear anybody.
“We know how we can play and what we can do, so it’s just a case of getting out there and doing it.”
And we couldn’t let a man who’s netted three in three go without asking if he’s targeting 46 in 46, could we?
“No, I’m just going to take each game as it comes,” he said. “Hopefully I’ll get more goals, that’s all I’ll say.”
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