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Checkatrade Trophy Reaction: Joe Partington on Return from Injury and Tuesday's Victory

19 September 2018

The defender made his first competitive appearance in five months as he was introduced as a half-time substitute in Tuesday's win over West Ham United.

Speaking after the victory, the right-back relayed how much of a boost it was to return to first-team duties, after such lengthy absence.

"I was really pleased to get minutes under my belt," outlined Partington.

"Obviously, it has been a long time on the side lines, so I was itching to get out there and it went quite well in the end, so overall I was very pleased.”

Switching attention to the events of the game, the defender outlined how the meetings against the academy sides of the Premier League clubs always offer a different type of test to league games.

“It was quite competitive,” suggested Partington.

“It's going to happen when you face the U21 sides - as we found out when we faced them last season, that they are closely matched contests. 

“Last year, they (West Ham) were good on the night and they managed to beat us.

“These games always offer a different kind of test. The U21 sides are always very comfortable on the ball and they are being tasked with playing in perhaps the most difficult way there is, which often leads to great pressure on themselves when they are in possession. 

“Credit to West Ham for having that style of play, but we are playing first-team football, where results matter - so it was important for us given the spell of recent games to get a positive result.”

Partington almost made an instant impact after his introduction at half-time on Tuesday evening, curling in a delightful cross that almost crafted an opportunity for Alex Jakubiak to glance home. 

“It's nice to get a couple of touches early on when you have been out for such a length of time. It helps to settle you down and aids how you are able to get into the game.

“I thought the whole team played really well tonight - against a different type of test.”

With all focus now switching to Saturday's encounter at the Mem against Coventry, Partington insists that the side must carry momentum from Tuesday into the stretch of upcoming Sky Bet League One fixtures.

“It's a no-brainer really - we have to be better both on the ball and again better off the ball.

“The results we have experienced so far this season haven't reflected how we are as a team. Hopefully, on Saturday we can change that and come away with a positive result.”


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