Freddy Eastwood believes he just needs a goal to get him hot on the trail of Clinton Morrison in Coventry City's goalscoring stakes. The popular Sky Blues striker has scored only twice this season but feels he is getting his sharpness and confidence back following a niggling injury.
Taken out of the firing line earlier in the month, the 25-year-old has been back in the starting line up in the last two games, and feels he was robbed of an almost certain goal against Swansea on Tuesday night (where he played against Gower): "I feel I am getting back to form since the manager rested me a couple a weeks ago," said the £1.2 million summer signing from Wolves who is chasing Morrison's tally of six in all competitions.
Freddie continued: "It was a difficult game at Sheffield Wednesday when we sat back a bit and let them attack us and tried to hit them on the break, but it was good to get 80-odd minutes under my belt and I felt a lot sharper on Tuesday than I did on Saturday. I am just looking for another goal to get me up and running. The gaffer took Clinton out and he came back and got some goals and he has tried to do the same to me but it hasn't worked in the last couple of games. But I feel I was unlucky against Swansea because there was an open goal for me and I was just about to tap it in when I was ripped off the ball, so I can't believe I didn't get a penalty. I didn't want a penalty because I wanted to score and get my goal, so that was disappointing, and I had another one blocked when Michael Mifsud pulled it back for me, but that's just the way it is for me at the minute. Anyone else in my position would have put it in the back of the net but with me, at the minute, my confidence is not high in front of goal. But it has got to change sooner rather than later."
As for his on-going tendinitis which kept him out of successive Welsh squads, he said: "The injury keeps coming and going and it is going to take a while, but it has been good for the last few games so hopefully it is improving. It kept me out of a couple of international squads at a time when I was playing games for Coventry and then having to have two or three days off a week with it, and just training on Thursday and Friday. The main thing is to put a blue shirt on every weekend and score goals, and I think the rest from international football has done me a favour in the long term because now I am playing more freely and not getting anywhere near as much pain from it. But playing for my country, (your as Welsh as I am Fred!), is a big thing and I am desperate to get back in the squad. The boys have done well and were unlucky against Germany and they have played well recently. Up next, of course, is a trip to the Championship's third-placed team, Reading, in a televised game at the Madejski Stadium on Monday. City have had Championship victories against Southampton and Birmingham in front of the Sky cameras.
One to keep an eye on but good luck Fred, I'm sure you'll be banging them in soon.
(Article edited from the Coventry Evening Telegraph, November 28, 2008).
Former Shrimpers left-back Chris Powell will be part of the Leicester City squad for tomorrow's clash with Southend United. But if things had worked out differently, he could well have been back with Blues.
The 39-year-old made 290 appearances during six seasons with the Shrimpers during the early 1990s and topped a fans' poll as their "all-time cult hero.".
And, speaking to the Echo, he confirmed he had come close to making a Roots Hall return: "It has nearly happened a couple of times. I came close to joining on loan one time but I'm 39 now so I'm not sure I will be playing for anyone else after Leicester. You can never say never in football though and I didn't think I would go back to Charlton and I did so you just don't know what will happen."
Powell is rightly regarded as one of Southend's greatest players. After leaving for Derby County in 1996 he went on to win five caps for England.
But he believes that was only possible because of his spell with Blues: "I always feel like Southend was where I learnt my trade. Playing there under David Webb was just great and I had some superb years there. It's a fantastic club and area and I loved every second of it there. We won promotions and I think it's best summed up by saying we over-achieved because we were up against a lot of big sides whose resources were much higher than ours. They were great times and (Stan) Collymore was there at the time too. It will be nice to see Tilly, (who he played with as well, of course), Ron Martin and his side, and of course the fans who have always been great towards me.
He was also caught talking to BBC radio Leicester about his affection for his old club: "A lot of people will be surprised, (that he thinks Blues will be atough test), as they are a real footballing team and have been since Steve [Tilson] took over. It was a great club for me and I forever wish them well.
Tilly does like the players to express themselves and get on the ball. While their fans will come in good voice and enjoy it. It's up to us to impose our own style on whatever team comes here and hopefully we'll carry on our own winning form."
Chrissy is hoping to get an extention to his one-year contract with the Foxes and then go over to the coaching side after playing over 750 games.
TLG speaks for all Shrimpers by wishing him the best of luck.
(Article edited from the Southend Evening Echo, the Leicester Mercury and www.bbc.co.uk/football, December 5, 2008)