Winger Reggie Lambe scored the club’s first home and away goals last season and he heads into this campaign in another vein of good form having finished off a good move to bag United’s second in their 3-1 victory over Blackburn Rovers on Friday night.
We caught up with him this week to get his thoughts on pre-season and on the opening game against Swindon Town on Saturday.
“It was good to get 90 minutes in the tank against Blackburn last weekend,” he said. “We’re gearing up for the start of the season now and I feel pretty fit, and I know the lads feel like they’re fit and ready as well. We’re all just buzzing to get the season started on Saturday.
“In pre-season you always take confidence from a win, whether you’re playing a team above or below you. For us to come away from our last pre-season game with that win is positive. We’d have liked to have kept a clean sheet but we still take confidence from the game.”
“It was good to get a goal against Blackburn,” he continued. “Something I’ve always tried to do is get into the box, but the manager has given me a bit more freedom in terms of being able to roam around, get on the ball and get in the box. I’ve just got to pick and choose when to come short and get the ball and when to make the moves into the box.
“Jamie Devitt found me perfectly for the goal last Friday and it was so easy for me to just tap it in. You’ve got to make sure you concentrate and don’t miss the target. It was a good bit of work to build up to it and I’ll take a goal whichever way they come.”
“I could have probably had two more goals,” he admitted. “For one of them, Hallam Hope played me in but the keeper came out pretty quickly. I had another chance with a header but I think that’s something I need to work on a bit more. I think I’ll go out with Colin West and get some pointers from him.
“Overall I think we’ve come together as a group very well in a very short space of time. The new players have come in and fit in and if we can keep everyone fit this season I think we’ll have a great chance to give it a good go.
“It’s all about staking a claim for a place in the team against Swindon. I feel like I’ve done well over pre-season but you never know what can happen. I’ll just keep my fingers crossed and make sure I’m sharp in training and we’ll see what happens from there.”
“Last season I was the first player in the squad to score at home and away and I have been thinking about that,” he commented. “I’ve been putting a lot of pressure on myself to try and do that again so we’ll see what happens if I get that starting place.
“As the week goes on towards the kick off I wouldn’t say you get nervous, it’s more anxious for me. You just want to get out there and get the ball rolling. We want to get a win under our belt and push on. Like I say, it isn’t nerves for me, it’s the anxiety of just wanting to get out there and perform so you show everyone, including the manager, what you can do.
“It will be a tough game, with Swindon having come down from League One last season. I haven’t really got much info on Swindon, I don’t like to look at the opposition too much, and as long as we go out and do what we have to do whilst keeping our principles we couldn’t ask for much more.
“We’ve got a great bunch of lads here and we’re all looking forward to the start of the season.”