'I know I can't headbutt people... I assure you it won't happen again' - in-form Downes out to earn Lambert's trust
PUBLISHED: 23:07 11 August 2019
Flynn Downes insists he has learnt from his red card at Cambridge but knows he needs to curb his temper and earn the trust of manager Paul Lambert.
Downes was dismissed for a violent headbutt on Paul Lewis in the Blues' final pre-season game, as he responded to the Cambridge man's heavy tackle during the final stages of the game.
Downes knows he can't let the red mist get the better of him and has worked on this side of his game for many years, but the youngster admitted watching close friend Tristan Nydam break his ankle just a few days earlier influenced his actions.
"Cambridge was a bad day for me, a bad day at the office," Downes said.
"I know I shouldn't have done that and it's something I think I've worked on a lot since I was younger. I've got better at it I think but that was a real blip.
"I assure you it won't happen again.
"It was stupid from me but - and this isn't an excuse because I know I did wrong - but I think seeing Tris (Nydam) the week before have his leg facing the other way really hit me. It hit me hard.
"It felt like he was trying to break my leg but I took it the wrong way.
"My head was all over the gaff because I knew I'd done wrong but I can assure you it won't happen again.
"I've got to make the gaffer sure he can trust me and that I won't do stuff like that on the big pitch. I'm working on it."
Lambert spoke of the 'devilment' in Downes' game being one of the 20-year-old's major strengths, with the academy product agreeing.
"That's my game and sometimes I do play on the edge so sometimes I can get a bit hot-headed," Downes said.
"It's a contact sport and obviously I know I can't headbutt people but it might get a bit heated.
"I can't take that away from my game but I can learn to control it.
"It's in my head now after the Cambridge game.
"Sometimes you need something to happen to make it really click.
"It's not happening again."