Duo enjoying City life

PUBLISHED: 10:38 22 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:33 06 May 2010

Jonathan O’Donnell has impressed since breaking into the first team and the youngster is enjoying his time at Clarence Park. Photo: Leigh Page

Jonathan O’Donnell has impressed since breaking into the first team and the youngster is enjoying his time at Clarence Park. Photo: Leigh Page

Jonathan O Donnell has thanked manager Steve Castle for giving him his chance this season and says he can t see any reason why City can t start climbing the league table. The young midfielder has impressed both in the youth team s FA Youth Cup run and in

Jonathan O'Donnell has thanked manager Steve Castle for giving him his chance this season and says he can't see any reason why City can't start climbing the league table.

The young midfielder has impressed both in the youth team's FA Youth Cup run and in his first team outings resulting in a first start for the senior team on Saturday.

"I'm loving it, Steve's given me my chance here this year so it's thanks to him more than anything," O'Donnell told the Herts Advertiser.

"I'm enjoying it, I'm learning a lot - I learn week in week out, I learn at training and I learn from the boys. It's a good set of lads as well so I get on really well with them."

The midfielder, known more commonly as 'JJ' turned in a Man of the Match performance on Saturday and looks like a player that can create something out of nothing for City.

His willingness to run at opponents created several openings on Saturday but unfortunately the Saints weren't able to capitalise on them.

O'Donnell admitted to being disappointed with Saturday's 1-0 defeat to Newport County but he believes there are positives the team can take from their display.

"It was a disappointing result for us today, we did well," said the 17-year-old.

"If we play like that week in week out, and against a very good Newport side, I don't really understand why we're down where we are to be honest.

"We should be competing with those sorts of guys week in week out. If we play like that next week and the week after that we should hopefully get up the league a bit more."

Already O'Donnell has become a favourite with the fans with the Saints supporters calling for his inclusion during City's win at Weston-super-Mare and the midfielder is delighted to know the fans are on his side.

"You don't really hear it (the chanting) out there but it's always nice to know they're not on your back and they support you," said the former MK Dons man.

O'Donnell doesn't turn 18 until next week and will turn out for City's youth side when they travel to Aveley on Thursday to compete in the next round of the FA Youth Cup.

"Yeah I'm still young enough to play in that!" joked the midfielder.

"Again they're a good bunch of lads, I look up to them in a way and they look up to me. Hopefully we can keep it going. There's a great team spirit - we've got a few clowns in the dressing room."

With Saturday's trip to Woking postponed due to the Cards' continued participation in the FA Cup, City's next first team outing sees them make the long trip to Sussex to take on Lewes next Wednesday.

"It's very winnable game. Like I say if we play like we did today, I don't see why we can't beat any team in this league to be honest," explained O'Donnell.

"We just need to put a few results together and I'm sure the confidence will grow and we'll be going up the league."

City new boy Justin Clayton says the team can take heart from their performance against Newport.

The defender, who is on a dual registration from Southend, has done well for City since making his debut at Weston-super-Mare at the start of the month.

"Obviously it was against a hard side, personally I thought the whole team played well together and I felt we should have got a better result out of it," Clayton told the Herts Advertiser after the game.

"I was very impressed with the performance of my team mates on the defensive front, I thought we played very well and hopefully in the future we'll be able to get a decent result out of it."

The 19-year-old, who turns 20 the day after the trip to Lewes next Wednesday, is relishing his time at Clarence Park and is looking forward to getting the club back on track at the Dripping Pan next week.

"I'm enjoying it, all the lads are friendly and it's a decent club," said the former Woking man.

"Lewes are from the Conference Prem last year so they'll be another tough side but I think we've got a strong enough side to do it. Hopefully our end product next game will be better.

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