I caught up with defender Adam Jackson this week, for a chat about his career ahead of the programme piece for this weekend’s clash with Peterborough.
At the tender age of 26, Adam is one of the elder statesmen in the squad, and we chatted about his upbringing at Middlesbrough, his loan spells and his England youth honours, as well as his time at Barnsley. He’s a cracking bloke and by the time I hit the 1200 word limit for the programme, we still had loads to talk about! You can get your copy by ordering from Ignition here.
We did get a chance to touch upon his time in Scotland with Hibernian, which is where I’ll pick up the story. He announced his arrival at Easter Road with a stunning overhead kick in a 3-1 win against Dunfermline, a video which did the rounds when he arrived at City. However, he doesn’t expect to be doing that again any time soon.
“I don’t know how I did that! I couldn’t do it again, I’ll tell you that,” he said when I spoke with him on Tuesday. “I came in for a corner and fell over as I went for it, and it went it, overhead kick. I enjoyed my start up in Scotland, it was good.”
Often, we hear criticism of the Scottish game and the recent transfer of Junior Morais from St Mirren to Boreham Wood fuelled social media discussion that the SPFL isn’t up to scratch. That’s not something that Adam agrees with entirely.
“I don’t think the pace was different, it is fast and intense up there. I think the quality is a bit different from the top teams to the bottom teams. Rangers and Celtic have got the pace and intensity, but technically they are very, very good as well, not missing as many passes and when they hit the final third they have the technical ability to put the ball past you.”
Whilst Celtic and Rangers get all the headlines for the Old Firm derby, the Edinburgh derby is perhaps Scotland’s forgotten rivalry, certainly in terms of how it is perceived by English fans, but Adam reveals how it is one of the best atmospheres he’s been involved in.
“I played one Edinburgh derby at the back end of the season, we got beat 3-1 unfortunately. It was at Easter Road and it was immense how loud it was, the passion from both sides is massive up there. There is a strong dislike for each other up there! It’s definitely one of the best atmospheres I’ve played in.”
The atmosphere at Sincil Bank is very different at the moment, with no supporters allowed in stadiums, and even if they were they’d see Adam currently biding his time on the bench. He’s had a couple of injuries and a suspension to deal with, and that has led Joe Walsh to claim the role of Lewis Montsma’s partner at the back, leaving him to wait for a chance.
“As a footballer, you accept that. If we were losing every week it would be worse than if I was not playing and losing, but we’re doing well. I’m not a bitter player and I’m not the sort to hold it against anyone, especially when we’re doing well.
“We just have such a good group that it just matters that we’re winning, it doesn’t matter who is playing because we are a team, and that is how it genuinely feels. I just want to see the club do really well.”
The club certainly is doing well, top of League One and with a great chance to cement promotion credential this weekend, but the ‘P’ word isn’t something the players are uttering at the moment.
“We don’t want to get too far ahead; we look at little blocks of games and see what we can achieve in those. We took the last three games as they came, won each and just move on to the next one. That’s enough for now.“
With three wins on the bounce, the Imps are in a good place, but results do not tell the full story of the last few weeks. Manager Michael Appleton missed the away win at Wimbledon after being diagnosed as Covid and whilst it did change the build-up, Adam discloses that the players know their game plan, whoever happens to deliver the training.
“It was a bit different him not being there doing the sessions, but the messages are still the same. The lads know what he wants, we still do our game plan so the lads know what to expect.
“Whether it was the gaffer, Kers (assistant manager David Kerslake) or Rich (O’Donnell), we are all on the same sheet and we all knew our roles going into the game. I was a sub at half time so I didn’t see if there was a video link. I don’t think so! I think he was in contact with the rest of the team though.”
You can read the rest of this interview, exploring his early career, as well as touching on some major changes in his life over the last couple of weeks, by picking up a copy of the programme online.