GLAD ALL ROVER

Mid­fielder Isa­iah Os­bourne be­lieves he’ll fit in per­fectly at For­est Green

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Char­lie Peat

FOOT­BALL is a re­sults busi­ness, we know. Win­ning is all that counts, no mat­ter how you go about it.

At least, that’s what some say, but not Isa­iah Os­bourne who be­lieves the way you achieve suc­cess is just as im­por­tant as get­ting there in the first place.

The for­mer As­ton Villa academy grad­u­ate was re­leased by Wal­sall at the end of last sea­son but is rel­ish­ing his fresh opportunity at EFL new boys For­est Green Rovers.

The free agent has signed for Rovers un­til the end of the sea­son

But the 29-year-old doesn’t see it as a step down at all and likes the way boss Mark Cooper wants to play foot­ball at the New Lawn.

Chan­nels

“It came down to the man­ager re­ally and the style of foot­ball he wanted.

“I wanted to be at a team that ac­tu­ally wants to play foot­ball,” said the mid­fielder.

“The man­ager told me they like to play it out from the back and, when I heard that, that was enough for me.

“They want to pass the ball and do things in the right way, whereas pre­vi­ous man­agers have wanted to hit the chan­nels and go more di­rect.

“This man­ager be­lieves in pa­tient build-up, which I to­tally agree with.”

Os­bourne joined the West Mid­lands side in 2015, then un­der the guid­ance of Dean Smith and gun­ning for a re­turn to the Cham­pi­onship for the first time since 2004.

Things looked like they were com­ing to­gether for the al­lac­tion mid­fielder, but a serious knee in­jury threat­ened his ca­reer and kept him out for the en­tire sea­son.

Wal­sall missed out by a point on au­to­matic pro­mo­tion that year, even­tu­ally los­ing to Barns­ley in the play-offs.

Os­bourne ad­mits he strug­gled to cope with his time on the side­lines, as Smith left for Brent­ford and was re­placed by Jon Whit­ney.

“The in­jury took it out of me,” he ad­mit­ted. “When I signed for Wal­sall, the team was playing well and then I missed the whole sea­son of that at­trac­tive foot­ball.

“That was a dev­as­tat­ing blow. We missed out on pro­mo­tion by just a point. But now I’m back from in­jury I feel just happy to be on the pitch because, at one stage, they thought it would be ca­reerthreat­en­ing.

“There are a lot of peo­ple who probably wouldn’t have made it through the in­jury I had, so I’m thank­ful for sure.”

For­est Green’s maiden voy­age in the Foot­ball League has left them in the rel­e­ga­tion zone af­ter two months of the sea­son, with many fear­ing the worst.

Scrap­ping

But this is far from panic sta­tions for Os­bourne, who has called on his team­mates to re­main calm and con­tinue to play their nat­u­ral game.

He said: “When I went through the bat­tle my­self I didn’t re­ally see it as a panic sit­u­a­tion. I’ve never let it get to me. I’ve been here with Black­pool, Not­ting­ham For­est and Scun­thorpe, so I know the drill.

“I think it is psy­cho­log­i­cal as well as your abil­ity when you’re scrap­ping away down the bottom. You just have to re­main calm and keep your cool.

“A few vic­to­ries can push you right up the ta­ble, so we just need to stick to­gether and see where we go from there.”

PIC­TURE: PSI/Mark Do­herty

GLAD TO BE BACK: Isa­iah Os­bourne, in ac­tion here for Wal­sall, hated his time on the side­lines

FOOT­BALL PHI­LOS­O­PHY: For­est Green boss Mark Cooper

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