Here’s to a better weekend

I got a bit of a ticking off after my first West London Sport blog last week.

The editor’s words were: “I don’t mind you plugging your book, just be subtle about it.”

With hindsight, it’s a fair point and I can understand why he wouldn’t want me to use this blog for gratuitous mentions of Graduation: Life Lessons of a Professional Footballer.

On a serious note, I’ve not been in the mood for joking this week.

“We goalkeepers always know deep down whether we’ve been fouled or not.”

I didn’t have a great weekend. First my mobile decided to wipe all my contacts, but that was nothing compared to what followed in the game at Huddersfield on Saturday evening.

Most of you will have seen what happened. I was clearly fouled by Alan Lee for their first goal and it proved to be a turning point in the game, as we lost 3-2 after being 2-0 up.

It was surreal really. I knew I’d been fouled – I had blood around my mouth to prove it – but you still always want to see it on the replay after the game.

When I saw it again it was even more clear cut. You can clearly see Alan Lee raise his arm into my face.

We goalkeepers always know deep down whether we’ve been fouled or not. Sometimes we might get a foul when we haven’t been fouled, and sometimes it goes the other way. But this one was so clear.

It has to be the most disappointing decision that’s gone against me in my career. It was such an obvious foul and happened in such an important game for us.

I was on the bench for Watford when the so-called phantom goal was scored by Reading. That was bizarre, but in terms of a game I’ve actually played in, Saturday’s has to be the decision that stands out more than any other. I just couldn’t believe it.

I didn’t speak to Alan Lee afterwards but I had Huddersfield players coming up to me saying that they couldn’t believe the decision.

I’ve been asked since whether a decision like that has ever gone the other way, and a foul’s wrongly been awarded against me.

One example does spring to mind as it was in a really important game for my career.

It was in my rookie season at Watford. We were playing against QPR, it was the second game of the season, and I came for a ball and didn’t get it. Much to my relief the ref gave a foul.

That turned out to be a big moment for me because we won the game 3-0 and I kept my place and went on to play nearly 40 games that season.

Maybe what happened on Saturday was some kind of delayed karma for that. It was certainly a big blow and means all the lads are massively up for the home game against Wycombe.

Our home form has been poor this season and if I knew why I’d be knocking on the manager’s door to tell him. It’s just one of these things that’s hard to explain.

We’ve shown we can perform at home – we were excellent in our first home matches of the season, against Yeovil and Leyton Orient.

Since then we’ve struggled, and I think what we need to do now is basically start afresh. We need to draw a line under what’s happened before and treat this match like a new start at Griffin Park.

We’ve had some great away results this season and with better home form we’d definitely be in the top six, which is a great incentive for the players because we know what we’re capable of achieving.

I really think one home win could change everything and really get us firing. If we can beat Wycombe it could be the catalyst for us, so let’s give it everything.

Update: A great result and the bonus of no-one bundling me into the net this week! Here’s to hoping it’s a turning point at home.



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