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Jack O’Connell: “When I get my chance I need to take it”

19 February 2016

Defender previews Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship fixture with Derby County

Jack O’Connell wants to make the most of his opportunity as he replaces the suspended Yoann Barbet for tomorrow’s match against Derby County. The Frenchman’s early dismissal at Hillsborough last weekend opened the door for Jack to make his first start in more than a month and the former Blackburn Rovers defender is determined to put in a good performance and make the most of his chance.

“I am looking forward to the match,” said Jack. “With Yoann Barbet suspended I will get 90 minutes under my belt and hopefully I can do myself justice, have a good game and help us get the three points. It has been a stop start season for me so far. This has probably been my hardest season so far in terms of game time. I have had to keep working hard and stay positive and when I have get my chance I need to take it. Hopefully I can do that tomorrow. I just have to do what I can do and hopefully have a good game. I am here to play games and that is what I want to do, starting tomorrow.”

Derby parted company with Head Coach Paul Clement earlier this month and are still looking for their first league win of 2016 while The Bees go into the match against The Rams after consecutive away defeats to Brighton and Hove Albion and Sheffield Wednesday. Looking ahead to the game Jack thinks there is enough quality in Brentford’s squad to beat anyone in the division but admits they need to start better than they have recently.

“Dean hasn’t really spoken to me in the build-up to the game it has been more about the team and our gameplan,” said Jack. “We have got to be on it tomorrow because we haven’t been in the past few weeks. When we are on our game we can beat anyone so if we are on it from the start then I think that we can beat anyone. My last home game was against Burnley so it has been a long time but hopefully we can get the win.”

Jack has made 11 league appearances for The Bees this season, six of them starts, and said he has been working hard on the training ground to force his way into contention for Dean Smith’s side. With the departure of James Tarkowski earlier this month Jack thinks there is a chance for either himself or Yoann Barbet to get an extended run of games and he will do all he can to make sure that he wins that battle.

“I have been working on everything while I have been out of the side,” said Jack. “I do extras everyday because I want to improve. That is the most important thing. When I play and when I make mistakes I have to learn from them and put them right. Dean Smith gives us tips about what positions he thinks we should be in and we look at the analysis to see where we can learn from our mistakes. We lost James Tarkowski so that gives me and Yoann a chance to fight for the shirt and hopefully I can play as many games as I can.”

Bees Player subscribers can watch the full interview with Jack below

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