Let's get back on track

WE have two great games coming up.

If you look at the League Two form table, we’re top and our next two opponents – Barnet on Saturday and then Morecambe the following week – are both towards the bottom.

Our improved away form is certainly something that we can tap into.

We’ve lost a bit of apprehension on the road – we’ve released the shackles a bit and got that monkey off our back.

It was a gritty performance at Grimsby on a Tuesday night to help us get out of that sequence, away from home.

That’s something that we can take into Saturday’s game.

Barnet haven’t won for a few games but it’s not so long ago that we were in a similar situation.

One player on Barnet’s books who we won’t be coming up against on Saturday is our former team-mate, Richard Brindley.

Sadly, he’s been injured this season and it’s been a frustrating time for him, so far but I’m sure we’ll have a catch up this weekend.

Time flies

AMAZINGLY for me, it’s now six and a half years since I was on loan at Barnet.

That’s incredible and time really does fly in football.

I was only 19 and it was just what I needed.

I went from playing in the FA Youth Cup with Chelsea to fighting a relegation battle with Barnet under Martin Allen, who was quite a character to say the least.

I had clean sheets, wins, draws and losses, saves, red cards – it was a big learning curve for me and really set me up for what was to come.

A disappointing time

IT’S been a tough three or four days for the club in terms of results, with the magnitude of what happened in the FA Cup last Saturday and then then the Southend United game given that it was against our local rivals.

Southend deserve credit for the way in which they went about their business but I think it was about them doing the basics better than we did.

They won the headers and second balls and took control of the game.

It was a much-changed team for us with players who haven’t been playing much football but it was nonetheless a disappointing result, as was the FA Cup defeat against Oxford City.

I spoke to the media about it after the game and expressed my disappointment at the outcome and it had to be spoken about when we were in training, on Sunday.

We’re good as a squad at drawing a line under things but it’s difficult when results don’t go your way.

It’s important that we talk about and assess what happened and the manager is very positive and bubbly and always looking towards the next game and we follow suit.

It’s difficult to forget the last three or four days and what’s happened but if you take the league in context, October was a great month for us.

It’s been a fruitful few weeks for us in the league and I think you have to take the two cup results as the anomalies and single events that they were.

That was reflected in the League Two Manager of the Month nomination for the gaffer and Mikael Mandron being up for the Player of the Month award.

It was bad timing in the sense that the two nominations came on the Monday after what had happened in the FA Cup.

I’m really pleased for them both.

Mika is a popular guy both on and off the pitch and what he’s done on the pitch over the last few weeks has been there for all to see.

His work ethic is brilliant and he works so hard on his game.

If he carries on the way he’s going, I can see him scoring 20+ goals for us this season.

Injury blues

IT was interesting to hear Spurs and England left-back Danny Rose talking about all of the emotions that he went through during his long injury lay-off.

He has said he saw a psychologist to help him cope with the feelings he had being out injured.

As someone who has had a long-term injury myself, I can certainly sympathise.

I think as a player, you have to accept that you will get an injury.

The first thing you have to deal with is being out but in my case, it was good to have others around me helping me along and we’re very good at our club at keeping injured players involved and it helps that we have a very good training ground and you’re always checking in with the other lads.

It gives you a lift seeing lads who have been out like Brennan Dickenson and Luke Prosser back out on the training ground.

Once I knew I would be out for the time that I was, I was only looking forward and focusing on that goal.

But I can understand how players can suffer and it’s a very difficult experience when you’re seeing the boys going out at 3pm on a Saturday and you’re unable to play your part.

Referees need a little help

SO the Video Assistant Referee (VDR) will be used for the first time in this country when England host Brazil in a friendly at Wembley, tomorrow night.

I think it’s the perfect game for them to do it – players want to win that kind of friendly but you don’t have the huge moments in those games that you have in others.

I think it’s a positive thing when you think about how much is at stake with every decision now and we need to help our officials.

Referees do a fantastic job but they do need help from time to time.

A serious issue

FORMER England international Alan Shearer hosts a TV documentary this weekend when he examines the potential link between football and dementia and it's a serious issue.

Personally, as a goalkeeper I’ve always found heading the ball an unnatural reaction.

I have huge respect for the big centre-backs who head the ball on a regular basis and heading is an art – there are players who are extremely good at it.

There are lots of studies taking place about the potential links with dementia and I only hope that heading does not cause long-term damage.

On another note, I saw this week that the former Chesterfield goalkeeper Tommy Lee has retired at the age of 31 because of a shoulder injury.

He said that the injury was starting to affect his every-day life and at the age he is, he has another 30-35 years potentially of work left and hopefully, way more than 50 years of his life.

Lapslie's a real throwback

APPARENTLY, Manchester United attacker Marouane Fellaini is reportedly suing New Balance for £2.1million.

He has reportedly claimed that his boots have caused a ‘loss of enjoyment, inconvenience and impact on performance’ and ‘considerable damage’ to his feet, with the sportswear giant vowing to 'vigorously defend itself'.

In general, boots are everything to footballers – some will wear their boots until the soles are falling out of them and others won’t keep them for long at all.

I’ve worn the same style of boot for three or four seasons.

On a side note, there’s actually quite a lot of excitement at the training ground at the moment as they’re re-releasing the Adidas Predator.

These days, there aren’t too many of the traditional black boots left in our changing room – apart from Lapslie.

He’s a stickler for those - he’s very much old school and he was born 30 years too late, with his black boots, his shorts pulled up and his shirt tucked in – in fact, he should have been playing in the 1970s!