‘It’s been a bit of a blur’ - U’s Ryan Jackson

Ryan Jackson congratulates Sammie Szmodics after the latter had given the U's the lead in pre-season

Ryan Jackson congratulates Sammie Szmodics after the latter had given the U's the lead in pre-season against Millwall. Picture: STEVE WALLER - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

The last few days have been a blur for Colchester United’s right wing-back, Ryan Jackson.

Just a few hours after witnessing the birth of his baby daughter, Aria, defender Jackson was travelling up to Nottingham on his own last Saturday morning to meet up with his team-mates, ahead of the opening day clash at Meadow Lane.

Jackson played the full 90 minutes in the U’s goalless draw against hosts Notts County, despite a lack of sleep and all the excitement surrounding the birth of his daughter – but it was always his intention to make it to the game.

“Obviously the main thing is your family,” explained Jackson.

“But with all the hard work that I had put in, and obviously that the boys had done as well, I wanted to put a shift in today (Saturday).

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“I travelled on my own. I made the journey up in the morning while the boys travelled up the previous day. I arrived just after 11am, just in time for pre-match.

“It’s all been a bit of a blur – you can’t beat the birth of a baby girl – but I’m just happy to have made it to Notts County, and I gave it my all.

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“It wasn’t too bad, but obviously the preparation was not ideal. I was getting a little tired near the end of the match, because I didn’t get much sleep the previous night.

“But you just have to dig deep and go again.

“I’m delighted that we kept a clean-sheet, which is a credit to the whole defence.

“We have worked really hard in pre-season, positionally and defensively as well. So it’s credit to all of us,” added Jackson.

Fellow defender Tom Eastman came the closest to breaking the deadlock at Notts County, with a 75th minute shot which came back off the bar, while Jackson himself had a chance with a long run which ended in rather a weak shot, straight at the keeper.

“Tom (Eastman) nearly scored – we are a good luck partnership, he’s a winger and I’m a winger!” joked Jackson.

“I think he will get a few goals this season, and he was unlucky to hit the bar.

“I also had a chance, though I ran out of puff at the end!

“It’s up to us this season, where we can take it. We just need to stay positive and keep pushing.”

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