Defender speaks about the midweek win at Oxford United
- Huddersfield Town defender Ben Jackson speaks about the B Team
- Young Terriers have progressed in the Premier League Cup
- Win over Oxford United puts Town in Group G with three other teams
Town defender Ben Jackson praised his B Team teammates after the Young Terriers progressed into the Premier League Cup group stage on Wednesday evening.
Jon Worthington’s B Team ran out 4-3 winners over hosts Oxford United at Thame United’s ASM Stadium, with 20-year-old Jackson – playing centre back – grabbing two of the goals through a pair of excellent long-range strikes.
It was win or bust for the Young Terriers, with the victory now rewarding them with a place in Group G alongside Newcastle United, Watford and Birmingham City.
“The main thing going into the game was knowing we had to win,” Jackson told htafc.com.
“If we lost, we would have missed out on quite a lot of important games; opportunities to play in front of fans against bigger teams. It was massive for us to come away, deal with the difficult conditions of the pitch and the long journey. I thought the lads were tremendous from the first minute to the 90th, all running their backsides off to help out their teammates. We’re all buzzing about it.”
Ben is at his most natural at left back, but his versatility is an asset. He made his three First Team appearances for Town to date as a central midfielder and played at centre back in Wednesday’s game. Despite his defensive responsibilities, his two goals put Town 4-1 up in the game.
He continued: “It’s slightly out of position (for me), but I’ve had a decent amount of experience. I’m not shy to have a dig when the opportunity arises, and it worked out well for me. I thought the second free kick was in, and the late shot should have been. On another day, I think I score that. I’ll take the two goals and the win!”
Town made things harder than they should have late in the game, conceding two second-half goals against the improved hosts and having to see out what should have been a more comfortable win.
Ben explained: “That’s one thing you definitely learn as you grow as a footballer. When you’re young, you don’t care about holding out for a result – you just want to score goals! As you get older and the games become more important, you have to learn when to manage it; when to play, when to go long, when to make tactical fouls. That’s something we’re all learning together and it’s massive.”
Youngsters like 17-year-old Brodie Spencer got to play alongside First Team players Rolando Aarons and Danel Sinani on the night, and Ben believes seeing how senior professionals prepare for games will bring real benefits to his younger colleagues.
“It’s brilliant! It gives an insight into how it is in the First Team, as it’s hard to go from not knowing anything about that setup to getting thrown in. That can happen with a couple of injuries. This will make the younger lads more prepared than before.
“We’ve got lads who have been on loan and have played a fair few minutes, and others at different stages of their careers. It’s really important that you give everything for the team, whether you’re dropping down from the First Team or stepping up from the Under-19s or Under-17s. Everyone has the same goal; to win and progress.”
Now Group G of the Premier League Cup awaits, with the first game scheduled at Birmingham City in early September (date TBC).
“They are opponents we want to face,” Ben concluded. “Two are in the Premier League, so they’ll have good players, and we want to test ourselves against them. We’ve beaten teams like that last year, so we wanted the opportunity again.”