Andrew Gale: Looking to kick on and steal a march in title race by the seaside
I DEFINITELY think that the County Championship game against Middlesex at Scarborough, which starts tomorrow, has come at a good time for Yorkshire '“ and also for me, personally.
The weather has worked out well for us this week in that most sides at the top have been getting draws and the Division One table is all set for someone to just pull away from the pack in my opinion.
If we can go and put in some really good performances during the next four or five games and get a good haul of points on the board, we can pull away from the pack and it is a case of waiting to see which team can do that now in the title race.
I think we will also start getting all our injured players back at a good time and that could help.
Scarborough has been a good ground for us for the past six or seven years really. We have played some good cricket there and know how to play and win there.
We are all looking forward to going there, while personally I have a good record at Scarborough when I go there.
I remember a few years back in 2013 when I had a similar run at the start of the season and had not got many runs and went there and got a big 270 and it kick-started my season.
I am optimistic that I can do something like that again.
Looking at Scarborough, I think that the pitch is the best in the country. It has good pace and bounce in it, which helps with the way we play our cricket.
It also produces a really good atmosphere and people really enjoy going to watch their cricket there.
We also enjoy playing there; it is a ground which is right on top of you and it is a very special place for a lot of people.
In terms of the players, Jack Leaning has had a fitness test and should be okay. He just rolled his ankle the other day.
Jack Brooks is also coming along nicely, although we are unsure whether he will play at Scarborough and he is not in the original squad. But he has got another fitness test, so you never know.
Sidey (Ryan Sidebottom) is not fit yet. He is back bowling and running, which is a positive but we have just got to be careful with him, with his age and given his record of injuries in the past.
When we bring him back, we must make sure he is good to go for the rest of the season. It’s still a work in progress at the minute.
The young Seconds lads did very well and did their cause no harm against a strong Pakistan A side this week. They certainly put on a good show.
Onto Euro 2016 and I have got to say my expectations of England were not massive, probably the same as everybody else’st.
But when you come up against Iceland, you would expect England – even on a bad day – to get through. But they were shocking.
I have seen what pressure and peer failure can do to people in cricket and it is exactly what I saw in the football players the other night.
I could see the panic and fear in their eyes. Whether stopping that comes from the people in the FA or the expectations from the media and public, I don’t know. But I think that the whole England ‘system’ needs a revamp.
To go 50 years without winning a trophy means that questions have to be asked from top to bottom and not just of the manager and the players.
Many are talking about players being pampered and not caring and things like that. But when you look at the players, for me, they still look passionate like when they play for their clubs.
I think the passion and desire was there to do well for England. I just don’t think that the plans were there.
You could argue that the quality of players was there on paper to go far in a major trophy, but for some reason, it just doesn’t seem to happen whenever we go into one of these international tournaments, certainly in recent years.