Jackson on becoming a father, squad rotation and turning his Town career around
PUBLISHED: 19:00 06 December 2019
Ipswich Town striker Kayden Jackson can't wait to get back to league action against Coventry City tomorrow. STUART WATSON spoke to the 25-year-old.
Ipswich Town Kayden Jackson says he has been losing sleep over the last week - but not for the reasons manager Paul Lambert outlined.
Lambert has said he hopes his players are kept awake over his rotation policy, with the Blues boss constantly chopping and changing his team during a stop-start schedule.
Asked about that, Jackson, 25, laughed and said: "To be honest, if I've lost sleep it's because of the baby. I became a dad nine days ago (to son Arlo) and there have been a couple of tough nights.
"With it being my first child it's been a bit of a shock to the system. But it has also been very enjoyable - there's no feeling like it.
"Thankfully, my partner's parents are down with us and they've helped out massively. We've been getting our sleep when we can and I feel as if I'm adjusting to it now."
Asked if he had a baby themed celebration in mind should he score against Coventry tomorrow afternoon, Jackson said: "My missus has been asking for a celebration for a while to be fair and it hasn't happened. Sometimes when you score a goal all that goes out of your head but I'm sure there will be something suitable if I do score."
Jackson was rested for Wednesday night's EFL Trophy win at Peterborough and came on as an 82nd minute substitute in last Sunday's 1-1 FA Cup draw against Coventry at St Andrew's. Four of Town's last six games have been in cup competitions.
"I'm eager to get going again in the league," said Town's seven-goal joint top-scorer. "It's frustrating. You want to have league games week-in, week-out, especially with the results we had against Blackpool (2-2) and Wycombe (0-0).
"It was frustrating not to get the wins in those games, especially against Wycombe when we felt we had done enough - and thought we had the lead."
Asked if he understood Lambert's rotation policy, Jackson - who has started 16 of Town's 17 league games thus far - said: "At the end of the day we've got a big squad and, as the gaffer says, everyone needs to be ready when called upon.
"The lads that haven't been playing are not going to be ready unless they get game time. The cups are an opportunity for him to play them, which I thoroughly understand.
"I was 100 per cent delighted for the lads that played at Peterborough the other night and won through to the next round on penalties.
"It's a nice occasion when there are lads making their debuts, like Adam (Przybek) in goal who played well and saved some good penalties.
"Think how big that was for him and the other boys playing their first senior games for the club. I was happy for them and happy with the result.
"But would I like to get involved in the competition myself? Of course I would. I like playing any game - a game of football is a game of football at the end of the day, and it's another chance to do well and score some goals.
"But it's the gaffer's decision who he plays. If I'm called upon I'll be only too happy to play."
Meanwhile, Jackson reflected on his turnaround in fortunes as an Ipswich Town player. The £1.6m acquisition from Accrington Stanley said: "It's like chalk and cheese when you look back at last year when there weren't many games that I enjoyed.
"This year has been the polar opposite. There have obviously been a lot of games in which I've scored or assisted and, more importantly, where we've got the wins.
"Back in the summer I wouldn't have predicted I'd have been starting the first league game. After relegation part of you is concerned and you are thinking to yourself 'am I going to be surplus to requirements'?
"I could have felt sorry for myself after the season I had and the season we had as a club, but if I'd done that I wouldn't be in the position I'm in now. As a player the only thing you can control is how hard you work. You get your head down and work twice as hard as you did before.
"Luckily enough, it is paying off for me at the minute and I'm not going to let it stop. I will carry on working as hard as I can to keep doing well.
"This is what I always wanted, to be in the side and starting games on a regular basis, and last season gave me the added motivation to work as hard as I did over the summer. I wasn't thinking about going elsewhere or anything like that.
"My sole focus was to get into the team and contribute towards us getting the wins. I worked really hard over the summer and thankfully I was given an opportunity, which I'm pleased to have taken."