BBC SPORT Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC Sport
 You are in: Football: Eng Prem  
Sport Front Page
-------------------
Football
Teams
Statistics
FA Cup
Eng Prem
Internationals
Champions League
Uefa Cup
Eng Div 1
Eng Div 2
Eng Div 3
Eng Conf
Scot Prem
Scottish Cup
Scot Div 1
Scot Div 2
Scot Div 3
Europe
Africa
League of Wales
Cricket
Rugby Union
Rugby League
Tennis
Golf
Motorsport
Boxing
Athletics
Other Sports
-------------------
Special Events
-------------------
Sports Talk
-------------------
BBC Pundits
TV & Radio
Question of Sport
-------------------
Photo Galleries
Funny Old Game
-------------------
Around The UK: 
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales

BBC Sport Academy
BBC News
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS

Tuesday, 29 October, 2002, 12:23 GMT
The James Beattie column
James Beattie


I came away from the weekend with a nice souvenir - the match ball from my first Premiership hat-trick.

It's particularly sweet not just because it is my first, but also because it will serve as a reminder of the rewards of hard work.

It's no secret I've had my troubles off the field this season.


You have to believe in yourself and your ability and carry on doing the same things

I thought I could just shrug them off but it did affect me.

I knew I had to buckle down and work twice as hard to get it out of my head and now I've come through it, it's made me a much stronger person mentally.

I'm aware exactly what football means to me, and it sharpened my focus that I have to concentrate on my football and let that do all the talking for me.

I've also had problems of a different sort on the pitch, and you have to work your way through them as well.

Before the Aston Villa game, nothing seemed to be going right for me at times in front of goal, although I wasn't playing badly.

Southampton striker James Beattie
Beattie celebrates hitting his hat-trick

I suppose the lowest point was against Manchester City when I couldn't make contact with a cross about three yards out, in front of goal.

Again, you have to shrug those off, believe in yourself and your ability and carry on doing exactly the same things in the knowledge that eventually it will come right.

I don't think I did anything vastly different on Sunday than I have been doing all season.

You still have to get yourself in the right positions and attack the ball, and I have been confident in doing that.

I suppose after Sunday, though, there'll be an extra little spring in my stride.

It wasn't just about my hat-trick, though. It was a fantastic team performance to come from two-nil down, and puts us in great shape to go to Old Trafford on Saturday.

Believe me, we're going there in a really confident frame of mind.

We're unbeaten in six matches, and including our Worthington Cup win over Tranmere, we've won four on the bounce.

You always look forward to playing at Old Trafford, even if sometimes it can be a bit intimidating.

If you're a professional footballer it's the sort of place you should be aspiring to play at.

Southampton striker James Beattie writes for BBC Sport Online


Latest Saints news
Links to more Eng Prem stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Eng Prem stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

Sport Front Page | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League |
Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Other Sports |
Special Events | Sports Talk | BBC Pundits | TV & Radio | Question of Sport |
Photo Galleries | Funny Old Game | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales