Attacker discusses his run in the team
If Jimmy Keohane is named in the starting XI for the trip to Southend on Saturday, it will be his fifth straight start in City colours.
The Irishman’s inclusion amongst the starters against AFC Wimbledon last month, three days after his 23rd birthday, was the first time he had gotten the nod from kick-off for over three months – and an all-action performance against Dons has been followed up with a number of other impressive displays that have given manager Paul Tisdale another weapon in his attacking armoury.
For the youngster, it has been a case of knuckling down whilst on the periphery and taking the chance when it came. Similarly, however, he is keen to make sure that he doesn’t drop out of team just as quickly as he established himself in it – and is aiming to keep making the right impact for the team.
“I’m delighted that I’ve started four games in a row now,” said Keohane. “I’m just looking to do well and to provide some energy to the team and to add some positives.
“I’ve kept training away and working hard, and I got a chance to play against Wimbledon. Luckily I did reasonably well, and I started the Tuesday game [against Oxford] as well.
“For me, it was always a case of carrying on working hard and staying positive that I’d get a chance. Football can change very quickly – one week you might not be in the squad, the next you can be starting and scoring and suddenly everyone is raving about you.
“Part of my focus is to try to stay in the team, but also to make sure I keep contributing to the team as well. Hopefully the results will follow as the performances have been reasonably good in the past few weeks.”
Jimmy’s game has tangibly developed in the past 12 months and his influence on games is much more apparent.
He himself feels that his game has come on physically, technically and tactically, and that more game-time under his belt has allowed him to be more natural in his game.
“I definitely feel like I’m a better player than I was this time last year,” he continued. “I feel a lot more confident coming into the team now – I did play quite a few times last year, but now I feel more comfortable and stronger.
“I’m choosing my runs and getting in behind, and running into positions that will affect the opponents’ back-four and their positions. Sometimes these things come together – and it has helped to play more matches.
“I suppose when you’ve played a few games, you tend to relax a little bit more and that can help you a lot as well. You feel a bigger part of the team.”
He also felt that the spirits in the camp were high after a number of good performances, and in particular grabbing a stoppage-time equaliser last time out against Portsmouth has helped to keep everyone upbeat.
Ahead of a trip to high-flying Southend on Saturday, Keohane is hopeful that the fortunes of Exeter City can also change as quickly as his own circumstances.
Jimmy continued: “We didn’t deserve to lose that game, and scoring late on has been very uplifting for the team. The spirit around the team in the last couple of weeks has been good, so we’re hoping to carry that on and hopefully get a few wins, starting on Saturday.
“We’re good at getting wins when it looks like we’re up against the odds and when we’ve got nothing to lose, as we go out and do our thing by playing football – we’re hoping to turn that into the right result against Southend.”