Max Clayton blogs about penalty shoot-outs and the spirit in the squad.
By Max Clayton (
You can now follow Max on Twitter @maxjclayton)
Since my last blog last week, a lot has happened to me. I’ve learnt an awful lot from the experience and I can’t wait until the next game against Germany. I will just give you a quick update about what’s been happening in my world and the latest news from in the camp.
As you all know, we went on to win the Argentina game on penalties after a 1-1 draw in normal time
. I managed to start and finish the game like against Uruguay. I was told that I was up third in the shoot-out. Unfortunately, I missed my penalty but after a couple of great saves by Jordan Pickford
and a quality finish by Nathaniel
, the team were through to face Germany in the Quarter Finals.
I think I felt more than anyone, as I missed my penalty, a mass amount of relief when we eventually went through on penalties. I was so happy we won the game in the end, as we thoroughly deserved it over the 90 minutes.
There was a fantastic atmosphere throughout the match, which I feel really got the squad up for it considering how bad the weather was. It hadn't stopped raining in Pachuca for around five or six days straight due to a tropical storm on the east coast of the country. It's like being back in Crewe!
Obviously, missing the penalty was a horrible feeling and one that will stay with me for a long time, it would have been very hard to overcome this if we would have lost the match.
I would like to thank my team-mates and backroom staff for supporting me and giving me the confidence to succeed. It was a great feeling when we won and luckily I didn’t need any help in the end. Nevertheless, it was a fantastic learning curve for me and penalties only hurt if you lose!
At every hotel we have stayed at so far, there has always been people asking the lads for autographs and pictures. The Mexicans are very friendly people and love their football. It’s kind of awkward and strange to me that someone wants a picture with me or an autograph but I don’t mind spending time with the fans and it’s pleasing when they walk away with a smile on their faces. I suppose it's all part of a footballer's life.
Since the Uruguay game
, there has been a lot of banter within the group, but rightly justified. We had a bit of a chuckle the other day as we hadn’t noticed for over three weeks Badger's (Kitman) horrendous Sketchers trainers. They had been camouflaged by his blue tracksuit. Let’s just say he got some major stick for them off me, James Marshall (Media Officer) and the other lads.
A couple of days after this, we were training before the Argentina game and Ben (Garratt)
was put up front to fill in as the opposition. Garratt did more than just fill in and left me gobsmacked...I went to challenge him when he had the ball and he chipped it over my head and took me out of the game. I was so embarrassed, as I didn’t think he had that in his locker being a goalkeeper.
My room-mate Jacko (Adam Jackson
) was up to his old tricks again in a small sided training game. The tough centre half got a nose bleed in front of goal and missed an absolute sitter from two yards out. It was easier to score than miss, sometimes I think he thinks that he’s playing rugby not football. Ha ha.
And finally, everyone can’t wait for the clash with Germany on Monday, it should be a fantastic spectacle. All the staff and the squad are confident we can reach the Semi-Finals. however it’s going to be a very difficult game but one that we can win.
I hope to write another blog later this week in the lead up to a Semi-Final, but we have alot of work to do before then.
Until next time,