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Leonard can't believe his luck

6 February 2013

Two goals in two games after 17 months without one

Ryan Leonard can’t quite believe it.

After 17 months without a goal, he has now scored twice in four days to hand Blues two important victories.

Leonard struck in the 83rd minute on Saturday to hand Blues a 1-0 win at home to Oxford in League 2.

Tonight he pounced in the 58th minute to give Blues a slender first-leg lead in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Southern Area Final against Leyton Orient.

It’s easy to understand why the young midfielder, who has recently returned to fitness following injury, has a smile from ear to ear.

Speaking exclusively to Blues Player after the game, Ryan said: “I can’t quite believe it. I was talking to people a week or so ago saying I’m desperate to get a goal.

“Then obviously I got one on Saturday and another tonight so I’m over the moon. They’ve both been important because they’ve got us the win each time which is the main thing.

“We had to work very hard tonight against a side who are going well in the division above us. But we handled ourselves well and got that goal. We knew we’d get a chance and when it fell to me, thankfully I took it.

“All the lads in the changing room know we’ve got an extremely tough game back at Roots Hall if we’re to get to Wembley so that’s not even in our minds at the moment.

“We’re delighted with the win but we’ve now got to turn all our attentions to Accrington. The league is the priority and it’s going to be another tough game.”

Paul Sturrock named four youngsters in his starting line-up, with Britt Assombalonga, Ben Reeves, Alex Woodyard and Ryan himself, and the midfielder says that gives him, and the rest of the young players, huge confidence.

“They say that the younger players play without fear, I suppose that’s what we all did tonight,” he added. “The manager has put great faith in us and I think we repaid him tonight.

“As a young player that does give you confidence and it encourages you to work extremely hard. I’m desperate to keep my place in the team, but if I’m on the bench on Saturday hopefully I can come on and score another winner!”

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