Josh Gordon: I 'simplified' my game for Walsall against Bradford
Walsall’s Josh Gordon believes his impressive performance against Bradford was achieved by focusing on the things he is good at.
The striker, a summer arrival from Leicester, was the two-goal hero on Saturday as the 10-man Saddlers secured a remarkable 3-2 victory over their relegation rivals.
After Andy Cook was sent off in the sixth minute, Gordon switched from a role on the right wing to being Walsall’s lone centre-forward.
The former Stafford Rangers man, who now has six goals for the campaign, has come in for some criticism this season for not scoring more often.
But Gordon revealed he has never doubted his ability to score regularly in League One. And he believes his brace against the Bantams was achieved by keeping things simple.
“I simplified my game, I stripped things back and tried not to do too much,” Gordon said. “I knew I had to be that target man because Cookie went off so I just tried to do what I knew I was good at. I just wanted to get back to playing how I played at Leicester and at Stafford Rangers.
“Getting the first goal boosted my confidence and to then get the second was a great feeling.
“But I have always had belief in myself. I have had a lot of bad press, I have critics, but I know what I can do.
“People were questioning what I could do, but those goals were for me. Now I can carry on doing what I know I can do.”
As well as his two goals, Gordon also worked his socks off against the Bantams as his team battled to hold on to their lead.
The striker was subbed off with cramp with just a few minutes remaining. And he admitted it was a huge relief when he heard the final whistle.
“I had to come off because I had cramp – I just couldn’t carry on anymore,” the 24-year-old continued. “I was sitting there praying, just watching the clock run down.
“When I saw four minutes stoppage time, I couldn’t believe it. But when I heard that whistle I jumped up, it was so much weight off our shoulders even if it is just for a week.
“But it is not over yet. We have got big games coming up, but it’s nice to have a platform from which we can build.”
Walsall’s win against Bradford ended a run of five straight defeats.
And Gordon hopes the performance has shown fans how much the players care.
“We went out of there and tried to play with freedom,” the forward continued. “We had to be composed, we had to show we could play and not panic. And we did that.
“And we were able to say ‘Right, Cookie has gone, but we just have to deal with it’.
“We still wanted to continue with what we set out to do at the start of the game. Whether it was 10 men or 11 men, the aim was the same.
“We showed our togetherness and our resilience to not let it go. Every player was amazing.”