Cornick: It was pure relief to finally score a first goal of the season for Luton
Attacker discusses how not finding the net had been affecting him mentally
Luton attacker Harry Cornick admitted it was a feeling of ‘pure relief’ to finally end his lengthy search for a first goal of the season with the winner at Bristol City on Sunday.
The 26-year-old hadn’t found the net for 45 appearances in total, not on target since last campaign, scoring a stunning strike in a 1-1 draw at Leeds United in June.
However, as part of a double half time substitution with James Collins at Ashton Gate, once Town had fought back from 2-0 down to level with 68 gone, Cornick fired home what proved to be the decider just six minutes later to seal a 3-2 success.
On seeing his shot finally hit the net, the former Bournemouth winger said: “It was pure relief, I actually didn’t know what to do, I didn’t really celebrate, I was just jogging, but it was brilliant.
“It was a big weight off my shoulders, something that had been playing on my mind a bit.
“As an attacking player I want to score goals, want to get assists, so the fact I hadn’t scored this season it was playing on my mind.
“I was going into games thinking ‘am I going to score this season?’
“I’ve been playing okay as an all-round player, but just not getting the end product, the goals that I wanted.
"In League Two I scored six, then League One I scored eight and last year was nine, so I was slowly going up and up and improving I thought and then bit of a dud this year.
"But I think we’ve had a great season as a team and I’ve played okay as an individual, it’s just my goals and my assists aren’t as high as I want them to be and as an attacking player, that’s what you get judged for.
“So to finally get that goal and especially as it was the winning goal and we won the game 3-2 from being 2-0 down, it was a big goal and one that meant a lot for the team as it keeps us climbing the table.”
Having missed a number of chances this term, the fact that Cornick didn’t have a great deal of time to think about it, spinning to shoot past Dan Bentley from 10 yards out, after Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall’s shot had deflected to him from Collins’ touch, was the ideal opportunity for the attacker.
He continued: “That was perfect, as the worst case scenario would have been one v one from the half-way line.
“Running at the goalie, thinking about 100 things, ‘where am I going to shoot?’
“I’ve got the gaffer in my head, what is he telling me to do on the sidelines?
“I’ve got a thousand things running through my head, so I think the thing that was helpful, as it was just instant, a snap decision and just do what your natural instinct is.
“Hopefully that will just carry on now and I can take that into Middlesbrough at home and score another.
“I can’t think of too many I’ve scored on my left foot,that could be my first lefty for Luton Town, I think it is, a couple of headers, unusual headers, but no lefties.
“And we finally see the goal gif, a snooker cue, we need more props for next year, I want more props and more gifs, better gifs, maybe some videos."
Although the relief etched on Cornick’s face was clear to see for everyone, it meant almost as much to his team-mates as well who swiftly engulfed him to celebrate.
He added: “I think the nicest thing was what it meant to all the lads around me.
“They knew how much that goal meant to me and in the huddle after I scored, everyone was being so friendly and so nice.
“That’s the great thing about this club is that everyone knows how each other’s feelings are, everyone knows how each other is getting on, on and off the pitch and everyone knew how much it meant to me to score that goal.
“So to have everyone around me and people messaging me after the game and in the changing room, it just shows how much of a good club this is, how good the people are around me and how they are around others.
“It was brilliant to see how happy they were for me.
“It just goes to show you what a good club this is as the amount of people who have messaged me.
"The fans, they’ve stuck with me as I’ve had a few messages before I scored, saying 'am I going to score? Am I going to do this?'
"All the lads know that I needed to score and I wasn’t scoring at the minute, so to have them around me and the gaffer and the other staff as well, it’s brilliant.
"Everyone around this club knows each other, they love each other, they care for each other and I think that is probably why we’re doing so well this year as the team spirit here is just, I don’t think there’s a club like it.
"I haven’t been at many clubs, so I wouldn’t know, I just don’t think there’s many clubs that have such a tight knit squad that everyone cares about each other and knows each other’s business.
"I think that’s the main thing about this team is that everyone knows each other, everyone likes each other, there’s no cliques, there’s no groups, there’s just friendships and hopefully that can keep going for the next few years."
During his goal drought, Cornick was still working tirelessly on the training ground to try and put himself in the best place to score, both physically and mentally.
He added: "I did my normal work I would do if I was scoring every week.
"I work on my finishing a lot, I try and improve every day out on the training pitches and the coaches here have been brilliant with me, trying to work on my physical game and my technical game, but a lot of it I think is mental.
"There’s so much to do with what you think about, what you visualise that helps as well as that’s a huge part of football the mental aspect, and how you go into games.
"I was probably going into games before thinking, 'I’m not going to score, I’ve not scored at the minute, I’m not going to get any chances and when I do a chance, I’m missing them'.
"It’s just playing on your mind over and over.
"You’ve got to look at a player like, for example, (Jesse) Lingard, who was so out of confidence at Man United, he goes to somewhere new (West Ham), change of scenery, his mental game changes, he starts feeling more confident and then you look how well he’s playing.
"Hopefully the same happens with me now.
"I’m a bit more confident, I’ve got a bit more form, a bit more belief behind myself and I can go and score a few more before the end of the season."