Ryan Leonard hopes Saturday's win, and his display, can kick-start his and Blues' season
After having to endure a difficult start to the campaign due to injury, Ryan Leonard believes his season is just getting started after putting in an impressive display in the 1-0 win against Chesterfield.
The young midfielder also hopes that win can help get Blues' season back up and running as they look to earn promotion to League 1 - and he hopes he can play a big role.
“For me personally it was great to be back playing again and it was a vital win for the team too,” said Leonard. “It had been a frustrating time for me getting niggling injuries and not playing and the last few results hadn’t been too good either.
“But the win at Chesterfield was a character building result and hopefully we can build on that now and hopefully I can play a part in that.”
Leonard started the first six games of Southend’s season before being struck by a hamstring injury. Since then he has made the starting line-up just three times and has made five substitute appearances. Despite that, and a lack of reserve football, he was able to put in a strong performance and last the full 90 minutes at the Proact Stadium.
“I was feeling it a bit in the last five minutes but I was fine up until then. You do extra training when you’re not playing but it’s hard to replicate what it’s like when you’re playing.
“The game would have done me a lot of good though and I want to try and push on now and remain involved for this Saturday’s game against Oxford.”
The match with the U’s will be the third time the teams have met this season. Oxford won the first clash 2-0 at the Kassam Stadium before Blues won there on penalties in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy earlier this month after the game had ended 3-3. Leonard is therefore expecting a tough test this weekend.
“Oxford are outside the play-offs but I think their position in the table is a false one,” said the midfielder. “They should be higher up and I’m sure they soon will be so we will have to play well to beat them.
“We’ve had two hard games against them already this season and I’m sure this will be the same, but we're confident we can come out on top.”