HELLO, and welcome to the first of my captain’s columns.
Firstly, I’m delighted to have been given the armband by the gaffer this season, and that was a very proud moment in my career.
I’m proud to captain the club, but that’s not enough, I need to lead by example on and off the pitch.
This week, we enjoyed what was an incredible night in our League Cup clash with Fulham at the Pirelli Stadium.
We were disappointed to lose on penalties, but we gave a good account of ourselves and we are very proud of our display.
You could see from the reaction of the Fulham squad that they knew they had been in a game, and we left the pitch with our heads held high.
It’s nice that Premier League clubs are taking the competition a bit more seriously now.
The whole experience was beneficial for the club, and we got a bigger crowd than usual.
I enjoyed the night, and I don’t know how many times I’ll be playing against Premier League opposition at my age, and for the younger lads, it will have been a great experience.
Speaking of the younger lads, I thought Matty Palmer had a great game.
I didn’t realise it was his first start for us – that’s terrific, and what a game to make your full debut in.
He’s going to be a good player and hopefully he can achieve great things with Burton Albion.
On Tuesday night, he was probably the best midfield player on the pitch, and that’s including the likes of Scott Parker for Fulham.
He’s got a great future and he’s a lovely lad, but he needs to make sure he doesn’t get carried away.
He’s challenging Robbie Weir and me for a starting spot in midfield now, and you’re always looking over your shoulder at the competition.
We’ve got more quality in depth now than Burton Albion have ever had, in my opinion.
We don’t fear anyone in the league or in the cup, but we do respect them.
With teams like Fulham, you resign yourself to a difficult game and you show them respect, just not too much respect.
We took the positives from Saturday’s fightback against Bury into Tuesday night and we’ll take the positives from that into this weekend’s game.
There are plenty of positives – we’re unbeaten still and people are beginning to raise their expectations about us.
We travel to Accrington today, which is always a difficult place to go, and they’ve had a mixed start to the season, not winning in the league but then knocking a big team like Middlesbrough out of the cup.
We’re in for a difficult game if we don’t take them seriously though.
I wouldn’t have thought there will be any fitness issues despite playing over two hours on Tuesday night.
We had the day off on Wednesday as we usually do after a midweek game, and used that to rest and recuperate.
I think the boys have recovered well and will be fighting fit today.