Leeds United midfielder chats to the press ahead of Blackburn clash
As the side prepares for tomorrow's trip to Blackburn, Leeds United midfielder Jamie Shackleton sat down to answer questions from the press.
Following on from his breakthrough 2018/19 season, Shackleton has featured 18 times for the Whites this year, despite picking up hamstring injuries which have kept him out for a number of months.
Now back in the side, and having made a number of substitute appearances, he discusses overcoming the setbacks, lockdown, preparing for the Blackburn game and his coaching badges.
Put aside the suspension of the season, it's been a bit stop start for you, how have you felt about it this year?
Yeah, it got off to a good start and then it's been a bit of a frustrating one, obviously missing three or four months in the middle of the season. These things happen, you've just got to get on with it, I'm happy now that I'm back, fully fit and ready to give 100%.
It seemed to be that you got over one injury and then something else would happen. How did you cope with that?
It was frustrating, it was tough to deal with. You can't change it once it's happened, you just go again and make sure it's right the next time. It took a while but now I'm back where I want to be, 100% fit, I'm available for selection again which is the most important thing.
How did you manage during the lockdown?
Yeah it wasn't too bad. The programme that we got given from the club was probably the part of the day I looked forward to the most. I used to put it right in the middle of the day so I wasn't doing it in the morning then have nothing to do all day. It was nice to have something to look forward to.
Three games very quickly so far, few niggles here and there, do you think you're close to getting a start because of that?
You never know what's going to happen with the schedule being as busy as it is and niggles are more likely. The players are waiting on the bench and we have to be ready. All the lads are in shape and ready to step up.
How confident is the side feeling ahead of the trip to Blackburn?
Yeah, we feel good. Everyone has trained hard this week, recovered well from the Luton game, and ready to put everything into this next game. That is what it's all about now, moving on, next game and get the three points. We know they're one of the best and highest scoring teams in the league from set-piece situations, so that's something we'll have to focus on and get right.
You're coming up against a team tomorrow that really need a win. Do you think that will suit Leeds' style more, a team that will come at you?
I'd probably say so. We've scored a lot of our goals on the counter, it's been one of our key areas, teams coming onto us and then we try to exploit the space. But every team has got something to play for at this stage of the season and every game has something riding on them.
You've played across a variety of positions, but going forward what do you see yourself as?
I do enjoy full-back, but my favourite is number 8 midfield, box-to-box, can go anywhere on the pitch. I speak to Mateusz quite a bit, there's a lot to learn from him, the way he moves the ball and how he creates space. He's box-to-box, does his bit in defence, contributes going forward, which is key in this team, and he does it really well.
You're doing your coaching badges, what has it been like doing that and how beneficial has it been learning from Marcelo?
He's the only first team manager I've worked under but it's been brilliant, I've really enjoyed it. The last couple of months I've had a bit more free time so I've been getting the coaching badges done, so that's been good. I've been sitting down with the books, writing up papers and got as far as I can with that side of it, but I've not been able to do so much of the actual coaching in lockdown, you've got to do around 10+ sessions so I'm looking forward to getting started with those as soon as I can.