Honest Jon knows he needs to do better
JON Stead admits he should be dropped for today's Championship clash against QPR.In a refreshingly open and honest self-assessment the Town striker confesses that his performances have dropped below the high standards he showed when he first arrived from Sheffield United.
By Derek Davis
JON Stead admits he should be dropped for today's Championship clash against QPR.
In a refreshingly open and honest self-assessment the Town striker confesses that his performances have dropped below the high standards he showed when he first arrived from Sheffield United.
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So much so that if he is the one that makes way for David Norris who returns from a suspension today, Stead will understand perfectly and he would have dropped himself.
Stead said: “The manager is right when he makes changes. If I playing out of my skin and banging them in then maybe I would knock on the door and have a word if I was dropped but when I know myself my performance has dropped then I'm not going to be doing that.
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“Until my performances are back where I should be then I don't deserve to play, in my opinion.
“Kevin (Lisbie) came in and did fantastically well so you don't want to take the place of someone who is doing well and I'm sure he will be the same with me.
“That happens with strikers. You have little periods where you are off it so you have to get back on the score sheet and play yourself back into the starting side.”
Stead scored on his debut at home against Reading, followed up with goals at home against Wigan and Crystal Palace, with some impressive showings without scoring at Southampton and Sheffield Wednesday.
But the 25-year-old form has dipped of late and he was taken off at Charlton, both home and away, and on the bench at Nottingham Forest and Plymouth.
Stead said: “I started off really well and set my standards and was pleased
“I felt my performances have dropped and Tuesday was the worst I have played since I have been here.
“That is something I want to put right and get my performances back up to where they were.
“I'm not missing chances but it is my overall display I was not happy with
“I have scored some goals and if I was missing chances that would be worrying me.
“So I want to build on those early games and get better.”
Stead can not be faulted for effort, or his confidence as his spectacular long range effort against Swansea and Charlton in the early stages of those games show.
While not quite in the David Bentley or Frank Lampard mould they were terrific efforts.
Stead agreed: “If those go on then things are completely different so I have not lost confidence.
I'm happy with the work I'm putting in and know I can get back to where I was.
“With Bentley, things had not gone well for him or the club so to have enough about you to even attempt that shows what sort of character he has. You have to be a strong character in this game because there are times when you are left out. You can't sulk and mope about you need to be ready and I try and keep that in my head.
“It is difficult because sometimes in training your head is down because you are not playing but you have to get yourself up.”
Don't be surprised to see Stead give it another go though and jokingly added: “I'm not sure about 40 yards, maybe 35.
“It is an instinct thing and if I feel it is there I won't shy away from having a go.
“It is easier for strikers in the final thirds than say, centre halves who can't do a Cruyff in the box.”
While accepting Stead was not at his best against Charlton, Blues boss Jim Magilton has been pleased with the 6'3'' striker's contribution.
He said: “Jon is someone who can provide goals and a platform for others to play.
“I can't fault the effort of the players and if we have more of the same, take the chances then we will be fine.
“Your first line of defence is your front players and if you can get them chasing and harrying
“Jon did that well and we did that at Plymouth. Pablo can be the best defender at the club because he is so clever and holds up the ball well.”
Although it is unlikely Stead will be there from the off, he is confident Town can find a way past a QPR defence that has not conceded in their past two games.
He said: “QPR are something of an unknown quantity with all that has gone on but I still feel if you get stuck into them early doors a few may go missing.”