Captain Jonathan Smith pens his first piece for the website, providing fans with an insight into the preparation that took place in the build-up to the Barnet match and reflecting on the 2-0 victory...
After the disappointment of Saturday, we set off to Barnet all very focused on bouncing back with an important three points.
The main preparation starts two days before the game, making sure diet, hydration and recovery is spot on. Monday’s session was very light for the lads that played and the lads that didn’t did a bit extra to top up.
The session involved lots of stretching and jogging with the fitness coach and it was good to be back around the lads again after a day off.
You could feel the focus ready for the big game coming up. After training we all ate together, followed by ice baths and massages if the players needed them.
Monday evening consisted of a pasta dish to get the carbohydrates onboard, along with lots of water to stay hydrated and plenty of rest with me being in bed by 10pm.
Travelling can take it out of players but fortunately we have a very comfortable to coach to travel on with lots of food and water provided to make sure the lads are fuelled correctly.
We arrived at the Mecure hotel Watford were we had our pre-match meal together. My meal consisted of a bowl of porridge, however everyone is different with some going for traditional beans on toast and some having chicken and pasta.
Following this we have a team meeting with the analyst who goes through the strengths and weaknesses of the opposition, followed by the gaffer naming the team for the night.
We then head on a short walk to stretch our legs before boarding the coach to the stadium.
Arriving at the stadium is when the excitement really does start to build. The lads seem very focused and ready for the challenge ahead. Music is on in the changing room and everyone prepares in their own way whilst getting changed for the game.
The warm-up is sharp with the assistant manager and everyone going through preparation for their specific position. We then head back to the changing room where final bits are done before we walk out to try and get the points we need.
Half time and we have the lead but we all feel we can do more. The second half and we come out strong and get a vital second goal. Following a strong defensive performance, we see the game out.
Having got the three points with a gutsy away performance, the lads are in good spirits, especially after the disappointment of Saturday. We head over to the away support to celebrate with them after they backed us the whole 90 minutes.
We listen to what the gaffer has to say back in the changing room before completing a cool down and stretch before it’s time to head home.
The coach journey home is a much happier place following a win and the lads enjoy a bite to eat and the recovery starts for our next big challenge.