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Bolton Nuts » BWFC » Bolton Wanderers News » I have worked for my goals, says striker Jermaine Beckford

I have worked for my goals, says striker Jermaine Beckford

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Nat Lofthouse
Nat Lofthouse
Jermaine Beckford has never been short on confidence since his formative years when he patiently and determinedly made the grade as a professional footballer.

The striker, who turns 30 next month, is in fine form for Wanderers with five goals in his last six outings.

At the moment, Beckford just cannot stop scoring – a far cry from the start of the season when his Whites career slightly stalled and he went 10 Championship matches without a goal.

But the Londoner, who worked as a windscreen fittter for the RAC after being released by Chelsea as a youngster, is now motoring.

And he says it is the confidence in his own ability that saw him earn a second chance in the game through the non-league route that kept him focused during that barren spell following his £1million summer move from Leicester.

Beckford told The Bolton News: “I have not had a career put on a plate.

“I have had to work extremely hard and even now there are people out there who say I am not good enough and shouldn’t be here or there, or playing at a high level.

“The people that matter to me are the ones I listen to.

“I may have a setback and been unfortunate but those people tell me to dust myself off, try again and keep working hard.

“Those are the ones I trust.

“It doesn’t matter if somebody knocks you down as long as you know in yourself and you have a level of self-belief, you can be whatever you want to be “A lot of people don’t see the hard work that goes into it.

“There is a lot more to being a professional than just turning up – you are playing in front of thousands of fans.

“A lot think it happens overnight and it is not like that at all.

“But it’s about staying focused and having that belief in yourself.

“Maybe I will make a mistake sometimes, but I just need to keep getting myself in those positions to put the ball away and see where that takes us.”

The proof that self-belief works is certainly in the pudding with Beckford’s match-winning goal at Watford last weekend extending the team’s unbeaten run to eight matches.

The former Everton and Leeds front man says he never panicked about the situation, believing the goals would start to flow after a career that has now seen him net 111 league goals in just 266 appearances But he is also thankful for the faith shown by manager, and former team mate, Dougie Freedman as well as the Whites supporters.

He added: “It was quite a slow start to the season and I’m happy to be repaying the faith that the fans had in us at the beginning of the season.

“I was always enjoying my football, but the icing on the cake has always got to be a winning goal, especially away from home as well, and it was a great feeling to score the winner at Watford.

“Because the manager was a forward as well, he understands the kind of things you go through and that every player will have droughts.

“It is a matter of keeping the same mentality and the same mindset that you had right at the beginning of the season and carrying that right through until the last game.

“Hopefully, there won’t be any more droughts where I go five or six games without scoring.

“However, there are going to be games where I don’t score.

“I know that, the manager knows it and the rest of the team know it.”

Beckford definitely has the backing of everyone at the club with his manager stating last week he wants his infectious positivity to rub off on the younger players in the squad.

The front man laughs at the ‘old-head’ tag but is comfortable being a role model for players looking to learn.

He said: “It’s strange to hear the young boys talking about me as an experienced member of the team.

“All of a sudden I am one of the older guys in the team.

“It’s a role I don’t mind taking on, though.

“I have learnt a lot in the game over the years I have been playing.

“So for me to pass on the knowledge I have picked up to a few of the younger boys and for them to actually acknowledge it and take it on board is a really nice feeling.

“As a striker you tend to go through a lot more of the game without getting the ball.

“You have to maintain a certain level of focus and confidence.

“You have to understand when the ball does come, you need to do what needs to be done.

“It’s similar to what happens off the field with some of the younger boys.

“They may not get the opportunities to play when they want them but if they keep working hard that opportunity will come for them.

“They need to have that hunger to take it on.”


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