Ryan Leonard delighted to grab the winning goal
Ryan Leonard admits he was disappointed not to have started against Oxford, but hopes his winning goal will have done enough to earn him a starting berth on Tuesday in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
Leonard was replaced in the starting XI by Marc Laird despite a solid showing against Chesterfield last weekend, and while the youngster would loved to have kept his place, he knows how important it is to be fully fit for what is going to be a testing month for Blues.
Speaking to the media after the game Ryan said: “It would’ve been nice to start but I accept the manager’s decision.
“We’ve got an extremely busy month coming up and it’s important every player is fully fit.
“I played 90 minutes for the first time in a long time against Chesterfield. If I had played again from the start today I might not have been 100% for Tuesday.
“We’ve got a lot of big games coming up and hopefully I can play a big part.
“The manager just said to me, go on and show everyone what you can do. I think the goal was my first touch of the ball, but the three points is the most important thing.”
He certainly showed everyone what he can do. Ryan popped up with a header from Michael Timlin’s corner and the youngster says he can’t remember the last time he scored a headed goal.
“It was great to get on and make the difference. I can’t remember the last time I scored a header, it was probably during my school days so I’m delighted with it.
“I have been saying for a while now I really wanted to get a goal, and for it to be the winner is great.”
Leonard is understandably delighted to be getting back to full fitness following an injury, and he’s hoping to play a big part in what will be a key month for Blues.
“I think we’ve got eight games in the month of February so we’re going to have a lot of matches and opportunities to impress. We needed the three points today to start the month on the right foot and now there’s real confidence among the team.
“We’ve won two in a row now, kept two clean sheets, and we’re hoping we can push on a pick up some key points during the month – it got off to an ideal start.”