We caught up with Truro City club captain Jamie Richards as he shared his thoughts on our disappointing Bank Holiday weekend as we suffered defeats at the hands of both Chesham United and Weston-Super-Mare as well as talking about our brilliant response which saw us beat Farnborough 0-2 in their own back yard.
After such a good start with preseason and showing such earlier promise in the league, can you put your finger on the weaknesses that caused our disappointing Bank Holiday weekend?
JR - I don’t think anyone could have expected us to start how we did the first 3 games, I knew we were ready, and I knew we’d be strong this season, but for such a new group of lads, we gelled together so quickly. Obviously the bank holiday weekend was a bit of a kick in the teeth, but I think against Chesham we were very unlucky, we weren’t carved open, it was 2 long throw ins that 9 times out of 10 you deal with and they get cleared, but we just switched off for 10 seconds on each one, and as we all know, that’s all it takes to concede a goal. Weston was the first game where I think we have to hold our hands up and say on the day they were the better team. I think maybe the long journey and the heat the Saturday affected our legs, but it was the same for them so no excuses, we just weren’t on it on the day.
We bounced back perfectly against Farnborough on Saturday; did you do anything differently in preparations to the game?
JR - Going into the Farnborough game, we knew we needed a result. We trained for 2 and a half hours on Thursday night, focussing on our shape in and out of possession, which as any footballer will tell you, isn’t the most entertaining thing to do, but it HAS to be done. And we got our rewards on Saturday. We were solid all over the park and made it hard for them to break us down. They had some very good attacking players, but if you get men behind the ball and stay focused and disciplined, it makes it almost impossible for any team to get through.
How would you assess the performance levels over the last three games?
JR - We know we’ve got more than a good enough squad to be serious contenders for the league title this season, we’re still a very new bunch with only a few faces from last season, so we’re only going to get better. There’s been so many positives to take from our first 6 matches. We’ve scored plenty of goals and conceded the 2nd least, so I think we have to be happy with that.
What are your thoughts on the news that both Ryan Law and Luke Jephcott have had their loans extended until January?
JR - The loan boys have been immense for us so far, sometimes you get loan players in who won’t necessarily dig in when things are getting tough, but Deano, Jephs and Lawsy have given no less than 100% in every game so far. The news that Lawsy and Jephs have extended their loans until January is music to mine, the lads and all the fans ears. We need consistency this season, as that was our downfall in the 18/19 campaign, so keeping these players on for good periods of time is vital for us.
We now go into a busy September period which sees us start our FA Cup and League Cup campaigns. Are you hopeful of having a decent cup run this year?
JR - We’ve got a 2 week break now until our next league game, with FA Cup and League Cup fixtures coming up. It’s always nice if we can have a bit of cup run, we had a taste of it in the FA Cup a couple of years back, and it’s a great feeling when people are talking about you, and noticing your results, so I’d certainly welcome a bit more of that.
Overall, after 6 matches played and the first month of the season done, are you happy with our start to the year?
JR - Despite that, the league remains our main focus this season. If you told me on August 10th that 6 games in, we’d be second in the league, already had 4 clean sheets and be playing the way we are, I’d have bit your hand off. Like I mentioned, we’re only going to get better as the next couple of months go by, which is pretty exciting considering how good we’ve already been. We’ll keep working hard and building together as a team, and with that, there’s no reason that we can’t put ourselves right up there this season.