Three games in a week is something that arguably wouldn’t be the ideal for most players of a certain age but for Imps’ defender Jason Shackell he’s relishing the opportunity to potentially make it three appearances in a row when Blackpool come to LNER Stadium this weekend.
The 36-year-old is enjoying his football with The Imps and cherishing every opportunity to get out onto the pitch and he’s enjoying working with the most recent recruits to the City squad in training as he and the other experienced heads enjoy being someone they can look up to.
“The young lads we’ve brought in are brilliant, they’ve all got great attitudes and want to work hard so it’s easy in that way. We’ve got a handful of experienced lads who will always help the younger lads. With Eards, Cian and Bozzy and big John up front, they all go out there and try to do the right things and lead by example.”
He continued: “Every opportunity I get on the field I enjoy and nights like Tuesday for the last few minutes it was very enjoyable watching the lads counter attacking and putting the ball in the back of the net. I’m as hungry as ever and want to play well for myself and the team, you’ve got to embrace every game because with injuries you never know when it’s going to be your last one.
“It does become a little more challenging when you get to my age, personally I feel ok at the minute. It’s good to be involved, it’s good to play three games in a week. I felt good on Tuesday, I’m a little bit stiff this morning but you always feel good after a win.”
He says the mood in the squad is buoyant following two positives results in a matter of days on the road at Shrewsbury Town last Saturday and then on Bolton Wanderers on Tuesday night. Last weekend, the experienced defender also got his name on the scoresheet as his second half effort smacked the crossbar, but he’s enthused with the teams’ recent performances and shows that there’s no substitute for hard work as the three points against Wanderers proved.
“It [the chance] came quick and the ball was stuck under my feet, but I thought I’d just get the shot off and sometimes you need that bit of luck and unfortunately it wasn’t quite to be under the bar. The keeper made quite a few saves, we were probably disappointed not to win but to go away from home and not lose and keep the points ticking over was a real positive.
“We’ve got to keep working and building on things but it’s good to see the confidence come back and the ball hitting the back of the net again.”