Roberts: First Town Goals Are a Confidence Booster
Wednesday, 4th Sep 2019 10:29
Jordan Roberts says his first two goals for the Blues, which helped his side to a 2-1 Leasing.com Trophy victory over Tottenham’s U21s last night, are a confidence booster and believes they will put a thought in manager Paul Lambert’s head.
The 25-year-old, who joined Town after leaving Crawley in the summer of 2018, found the net in the 47th and 66th minutes, his first competitive goals for the club, as the Blues came from behind to beat the Tottenham youngsters.
“It’s been a long time coming, I’ve had chances and not been able to score, so for me to go out there and score is a confidence booster,” the forward admitted.
“It puts a thought into the manager’s head but the competition is healthy and I’m willing to carry on working hard and earn a place in the team.
“It’s not going to be easy, but you’ve got to get your head down and work hard and when you’re called upon take the chance with both hands.”
Roberts had one or two more difficult chances in the first half before Armando Dobra created the openings for his goals in the second period.
“I knew after a while I was hopefully going to get on the scoresheet,” he reflected.
“We created plenty of chances in the first half and were unlucky not to score but credit to the Spurs team, they moved the ball well.
“I think in the end age and physicality showed and it was a great team performance and I thought we deserved the win today.”
He added: “It was good, from a personal point of view to be out there playing. It’s a great feeling, there’s no better feeling.
“But overall, the boys coming back from injury got minutes under their belts, there’s healthy competition in the team and it gives the manager different options and a different thought in his head going into next week in the league.”
Roberts had been left out of the matchday 18 for the previous three League One games, so was pleased just to be involved.
“It’s been a tough few weeks for me,” he admitted. “But I’m here to show what I can do and for me today to be out there playing it’s what I want to do - score goals, be involved with the boys. I’m happy to be out there today and to get on the scoresheet is a bonus.”
TWTD revealed on Monday that Colchester United had showed interest in signing him on loan the previous week ahead of the deadline, while other clubs were also keen.
“There were a few things in the air,” he confirmed. “But I want to stay here and show [what I can do] given my opportunity and I thought I did that well tonight.
“The boys put in a good performance and it shows that when you’re called upon you need to take your opportunity and go from there.”
He says he turned down the Colchester move as he is determined to make it at Portman Road.
“That’s it, I’ve not really had my chance to play here,” he added. “I’ve got the bit in between my teeth where I want to play, I want to prove a point.
“I can only carry on working hard and I feel like my job is here and I want to play here and show everyone what I can do. Hopefully today was a first step for that and long may it continue."
With Will Keane not yet ready for first-team action and Freddie Sears still a couple of months away from his return from his ACL injury, Roberts knows he currently has a chance to show what he can do.
“All you can do is train hard in the week and give it your all,” he continued. “Everyone wants to be out there playing but at the end of the day he can only pick 11 players come Saturday.
“For me, I thought I did my job today and it gives an option in his head to maybe throw me in.
“But, as I say, the manager makes his decisions and the boys are doing well at the minute in the league so I’ve just got to keep plugging away.”
With James Norwood and Kayden Jackson League One’s top and joint-second top scorers with five and four respectively, he knows he has a tough job to win a place in the regular starting XI.
“Competition’s healthy, there’s no better feeling,” he insisted. “It would be a different story if we were struggling and weren’t scoring goals but to be chasing Nors and Jacko, it’s a good feeling.
“It’s not going to be easy to break in and hopefully when I get my chance take it again in the league.”
Roberts had praise for the young players who came into the team: “I’m sure everyone can see it. The gaffer knows he can put players out there whether they’re 15 or 32, it doesn’t really matter.
“The main thing is that everyone came off the pitch fit, the young boys did very well, showed that they can be put on the main stage and do what they can do, so everyone’s happy for the young boys and the boys coming back from injury.”
Dobra grabbed most of the post-match headlines with his performance and the two assists for Roberts’s goals.
“To be fair it’s about time he set me up!” the goalscorer joked. “I said to him to keep going, he’ll get his chances and the time came for him to square the ball to me, so thanks Dobs.
“Overall, it was a great performance and everyone can take full confidence, we’ve a little break now and we go into next week.”
Looking back on his first of the evening, he said: “The goal was open, I just had to make a good connection on it and it went in. We were chasing the game then, we knew we had to score two goals to get ourselves back in the game and push on.
“After the two goals it was comfortable, we moved the ball well and everyone performed well.”
Was he frustrated at being subbed when on a hat-trick? "A little bit because you want to stay on the pitch as long as possible and score more goals.
“But for me coming back, I’ve not played a game for a while, so in a protective kind of what, avoiding injury or whatever, it’s a good thing. For me to come off the pitch having scored two goals and injury free is a bonus.”
Even if he isn’t involved in League One, Roberts knows the Leasing.com Trophy is likely to give him a regular opportunity to show what he can do for at least the next couple of months.
“I think personally I’ll take each game as it comes,” he added. “I train in the week, work hard and come Saturday he picks the XI, whether you’re in the squad is down to the manager.
“When you get the opportunity it’s vital you go out there and for me and the young boys you’ve just got to carry on working hard. Football can change in a split second, so when you're called up it’s important that you’re ready and raring to go.”
Roberts says everyone was pleased to see Emyr Huws and Jon Nolan come through 90 minutes, for the Welshman his first full competitive game since the final day of 2016/17.
“We’ve got a great squad, the quality in the squad is second to none,” the Watford-born attacker continued.
“Whether the boys come on in this cup game or in the league everyone’s ready, everyone wants to play. It gives the manager a good problem.
“I’m sure the lads are ready and want to get involved and be a part of what’s going on at the club at the minute.”
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