League One Spotlight
All to play for
Notts County winger Jamal Campbell-Ryce discusses goal returns, managerial changes and future hopes.
Last Updated: 27/05/13 11:37am
The 2012/13 campaign is about to enter the final straight, with promotion pushes and relegation battles now in full swing.
Here at Sky Sports, we continue to take you to the very heart of the Football League, with our Spotlight features intended to give you a greater insight into the clubs and players that keep us on the edge of our seats.
We are hoping to bring you the views and thoughts of a representative from each of the 72 teams over the course of the season, with those involved asked to give their take on the division they compete in, the club that pays their wages and those we should all be keeping an eye on.
Notts County's Jamal Campbell-Ryce is next in the hot-seat, with the Magpies winger taking time out to discuss an improvement in front of goal, managerial changes and his hopes for the future with Chris Burton.
How are you reflecting on the season so far, for the club and for yourself?
From the team's perspective, we are obviously a little bit disappointed with where we are in the league because, with the football we play, we feel we should be a lot higher. I think it just boils down to the fact that we haven't scored enough goals. That reflects not just on the strikers, but the whole team. On a personal level, I have been really happy with my performances on the whole this year. I feel I have been quite consistent and have added a few goals as well, which has been good.
You're the club's top scorer at the moment, have you made an extra effort to get yourself into the right positions in the final third?
Yeah. I have always been told a lot in my career that with the type of player I am that I should be scoring more goals. The people that have told me that are probably right. It has happened that I have managed to score a few more goals this year. But from a team perspective we feel we should be a lot higher, so that's a little bit disappointing.
It's been difficult, though, hasn't it for everyone? You were signed by Keith Curle, then he leaves and it is never easy when a change like that happens mid-season.
I think you have hit the nail on the head. I'm Keith Curle's player, I spoke to him a lot over the summer and we built up quite a relationship. I know it's part and parcel of football that managers come and go, but it was hugely disappointing. It felt like he was building something great here, but I know he'll get into another job and I wish him all the best. It was disappointing and hurtful.
You have got a new manager in now, is that being viewed as a fresh start and a clean slate for everyone?
We have got Chris Kiwomya in. He took the helm for a couple of games and I think he has got it until the end of the season now. He's trying, in his first managerial job, to take the team forward and do well for himself and for the team. Hopefully he can do that.
Are the play-offs still regarded as a realistic target, with nine points currently separating you from the top six?
Yeah, 100 per cent. Until it's mathematically impossible for us, we will always be striving for that. But to get there you have to win games and we have drawn quite a few of our last few games. We really need to turn those performances into wins and start putting some real pressure on the teams in front of us.
It's been an odd one hasn't it because you enjoyed a really good pre-season and then started really well, only to then see things start to unravel?
Frustrating I think the word is. Anybody that has come to watch us play will say that we are definitely up there in the top two or three teams that play the best football in the league. I say that quite easily. We create chance after chance but it's not just the strikers, it's all over the park that we are missing chances and we need to do better and start converting them.
It's a very competitive division isn't it? What have you made of the league as a whole and what it takes to be successful?
I think you need to learn how to scrap first. You need to win the battle first before you think about the footballing side. We have gone into games and sometimes been a bit naive, just trying to football teams to death and that doesn't work because teams will just sit back and let you play in front of them. I definitely feel that you have to work hard and earn the right to play first.
For you, you spent five years playing in the Championship at Barnsley and Bristol City - I take it that is a level you would like to return to sooner rather than later?
100 per cent. I have got aspirations to play as high as possible for as long as possible. Coming to Notts County, coming down a league, was quite disappointing but I am lucky enough to have come a club that are a big football club. Obviously it would be great to help Notts County get to the Championship, but I have still got massive aspirations and feel that I could do a very good job in the Championship.
Having moved last summer, are you looking for a period of stability?
It would be nice but, at the end of the day, you never know what is around the corner. You never know who is looking. You say you do want stability, but if an opportunity comes and you move again, then you go where it is going to help your career and help you to move forward in life. You never know what is around the corner, so get your head down and work hard for yourself and the team.
Finally, are you setting yourself any targets for the remainder of the campaign?
I would like to get to double figures for the season. The play-offs is also one of the aims for the team. It would be nice to do that and get to double figures.