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Trained in the morning with tonight in mind. The game started well, with a great goal from Marlon in the first half. We were all happy at half time but knew Palace would make it difficult in the second half. Andy Johnson had a clash of heads with Ben: only one winner there! He was stretchered off, but that seemed to inspire Palace and unsettle us. Dougie Freedman, who replaced Johnson, had only been on 3 minutes when he scored the follow up to his own penalty. Ben was gutted, having saved the original shot. We then shot ourselves in the foot even more by scoring 2 more goals for Palace. Palace definitely played much better second half but we left the ground feeling that we had contributed to our own downfall.
Trained and travelled to Crystal Palace ready for the game tomorrow night. Scott Loach travelled with us as well to give him a bit of experience how we operate.
Took the GK's again and then joined in with the main squad. In the evening, Jane, Tasha and I went to watch Ryan's Easter performance at school. He played an android! It wasn't your traditional Easter play; it was about kids going into space! They all did well though and gave an enjoyable performance.
All in for training, de-brief the Millwall game first. We have a young GK on trial from Lincoln, Scott Loach. Take him for a bit of training before him and Ben join in with the first team.
No training but played in the reserves against Crystal Palace in the evening. Palace had a very strong side out and made it very difficult for us. We were 2-0 down after 15 minutes, fearing the worst! In the 2nd half though we played much better and although they got 1 more, we also scored and gave a much better performance.
In for training and then back in time to see Ryan play his final game of the season. He hit the post with a great effort and the team won 3-0. They have one more game left but Ryan will be away. Jane's mum and dad had also come over for the game and then we all went out for a Mother's Day treat to "Greens", the restaurant overlooking the 18th at Collingtree Golf Club. Had a nice meal in pleasant surroundings.
A coupon buster! Millwall beat us 2-0 which is a real sickener. Gav had a penalty saved and generally Andy Marshall kept us at bay. I am sure there were a few eyebrows raised around the country when this result came through! You can never predict what is going to happen in English football, which is why we all love it.
In the evening we had Laraine and Richard Harvey over for a Chinese. Was good to catch up with them.
Trained in the morning and then had a sad occasion in the afternoon. My former cricket captain from Ramsey, Clive Edwards, sadly died of a brain tumour and it was his funeral today in Pidley. There were a lot of people from my cricketing days there, so we all enjoyed meeting up again but in tragic circumstances. Popped in to see my mum and dad later in the day. Mum has been struck down with a serious stomach bug which has proved hard to shake off. Took her some flowers and chocolates for Mother's Day coming up this weekend. She was supposed to be coming over for a meal in Northampton on Sunday, but still not up to it.
Training with the Millwall match in mind.
In for training in the morning. The lads that had played at Southampton were off. In the evening, went for a meal with Rob Bailey and his wife, Rachel. Rob played for Northants and England at cricket and has just made it onto the First Class Cricket's Umpire's List. He also did me a big favour for my testimonial with the china mugs he provided. Had a nice meal in The Red Lion.
In for a de-brief and training. Generally very happy with last night's performance.
Trained at Southampton University in preparation for the game. Rest in the afternoon and then onto St Mary's. The team played very well and got a great result, winning 3-1. The only disappointment was conceding a goal late in the game. Saw Kevin Miller again, as he was on the bench for the Saints.
In later so was able to watch Ryan's team play, even though Ryan was rested this week. Trained and travelled to Southampton.
Trained quite early as the manager and staff had games to go and watch. I went up to Sheffield Wednesday v Preston to do a bit of scouting.
Day off, as we have no game tomorrow - it has been put back for Sky to the Monday night. We had friends over for dinner in the evening.
Training, then Testimonial committee meeting in the evening. Everyone was happy with how the dinner went and plans for the golf day were made.
Training as normal and then back home for Tasha's Parents Evening to discuss her options for GCSE. A lot of decisions to be made.
Training and de-brief from the Reading game.
Day off and then down to the reserve game in the evening against Ipswich Town.
Ryan came to training with me as Jane and Tasha were off to Nottingham with Tasha's netball club for national trials! They spent the day up there and it snowed non stop! Everyone was frozen but they played on, but glad to get home.
A tough game at the champions elect, but we come out with great credit and a goalless draw. Jane and the kids had travelled down as we have friends in the area, Duncan and Elaine, so after the game we went back to theirs for a bite to eat and then drove home about 9pm.
Trained and travelled to Reading. After dinner, once they cleared the tables, I was first up to give my presentation. Was very nervous but I think it went ok. Martin Pert gave a presentation on his findings at Bolton and the manager did one on the Chelsea v Barcelona game.
Trained towards the Reading game. In the afternoon I completed the presentation for tomorrow.
Trained as normal and in the afternoon Ryan's school had an open day in which the parents can go in and watch the lessons in action and look at their child's work. We were very pleased with Ryan's progress, especially his handwriting.
In for training and de-brief from the Derby game. When I got home I started to prepare my presentation on the 3 day visit to Man United. The manager wants me to do a talk on what I learned up there at the hotel in Reading on Friday night in front of the staff. Can't wait!
Day off, but went to watch the reserves at home to Southampton in the evening. Kevin Miller was in goal for Southampton, after coming out of retirement to help Southampton out of their goalkeeping crisis. It was good to see him and although we won 2-1, he did fine.
In for training and then made it back up to Northampton for Tasha's netball match, which she won. Spent the rest of the day chilling at home.
Match day against Derby County. A game that we expected to win, but in the end were grateful to get a point from. Derby had the lead twice and it took a great goal from Marlon to even things up in the first half, and then an injury time equaliser from Al Bangura to level things up again after Derby had scored in the 86th minute.
Trained at Borehamwood again because of the conditions. Didn't train as long as usual because we were on the Astroturf; the manager was concerned that it would take a bit out of the players legs for the game tomorrow.
Back into training at Watford. Because of the frost we are on the Astroturf at Borehamwood FC. The manager was eager to hear how things had gone up at Carrington and then we got on with training. Martin Hunter, who is the England U19 manager, took a large part of the session.
Last day at Man United. Paul Scholes trained with the GK's today! It was the first day's training he had done for 2 months. He helped with the serving and it was a real eye opener to see him strike a ball close at hand. I think Ben was surprised as well. He was a really nice lad as well and before I went home left a signed photo for me to give to Ryan. All in all it has been a very useful exercise and I am very grateful to Man United, particularly Tony and Richard, for allowing me the chance to come up.
Drove home that afternoon and had friends round for a meal in the evening.