Striker on return to action this afternoon
Striker Matt Harrold returned to action this afternoon, following a groin injury sustained a month ago.
He came through an hour of this afternoon’s development game against AFC Bournemouth and seems likely to be available for inclusion in the squad to face Northampton Town this Saturday.
“It felt good to be out there, though obviously I’m a little bit rusty given that I haven’t played or trained very much in the last four weeks.
“Still, it was nice to get out there, against a good side. It was hard work, but I played at a high tempo whilst I was on in order to gain the maximum benefit. If I’m honest, I enjoyed it as it was just what I needed.
Bournemouth proved to be strong opponents.
“They are a championship side who have a philosophy of playing and you could see it out there. They played out from the back at all times and made it hard for us, though I thought we did ok.
“Obviously, there are things to work on and Marcus will address those, but there were a number of positives to take from the game. I just think it was good to test ourselves against them and hope the lads have learnt a few things.”
Last Tuesday Ryan Brunt led the reserve line for an hour in a development game and started the game against York on Saturday, so might we see a repeat with Matt being the one involved this weekend?
“I’ll certainly be ready if called on. My groin and my knee feel fine, but as for Saturday that’s down to the manager. Don’t forget that the team won their first game of the season on Saturday, so it’s not something I’m really thinking of if I’m honest. All I’m doing is thinking of recovering and being ready if required. Hopefully, though, I can be involved in some way and help the team out.”
That first win of the season, against York, lifted everyone.
“It’s always nice to get the first win on the board. Saturday was all about getting three points and building on it and I think the lads will take a lot of positives from the win. Hopefully, it will kick start the season and we can go on and compete in the league.”
Once the Northampton game is out of the way, there’s the small matter of a derby game to savour down at Ashton Gate.
“It’s a game to look forward to. I played in the pre-season game last year and even then there was a really good atmosphere inside the ground. Although we lost 3-0, I thoroughly enjoyed the game, so I’m certain I’m going to enjoy a competitive fixture.
“It’s a huge game, for fans and players alike, and it would be a good game to be involved in.”