Shooting practice paid off handsomely for Town midfielder Andrew Shinnie after he netted a superb winner in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Huddersfield Town.
With 64 minutes gone and the contest level at 1-1, it looked like the opportunity might have gone when 22-yards from goal, Shinnie was forced to turn back inside on to his left foot by a visiting defender.
However, he simply unleashed a superb curling effort that flew past on-loan Liverpool keeper Kamil Grabara and into the corner of the net.
Speaking about his first Championship goal since March 4, 2015, when he scored for Birmingham in a 1-0 win over Blackpool 1-0 at St Andrews, Shinnie said: “My right side is stronger, but I feel confident.
“I’ve been working at in training, we do a lot of finishing in training, I’ve felt good this week.
“I came inside, those ones you bend into the corner, if you can pull them off it’s hard for the goalie to get across to that and luckily I placed it perfectly and it went in.
“We work both sides, we do a lot of finishing with the manager from those sorts of areas, midfielders and the strikers, as we get into those positions a lot.
“It’s just about being ruthless and having shots.
“If you don’t shoot, you’re not going to score. I had a couple of shots and one of those has went in, so I’m just going to keep doing that as the season goes.”
Shinnie admitted he had been expecting to get a chance from that kind of range during the contest, as he had sent one attempt fizzing narrowly over just moments before his next hit the net.
He continued: “There was a bit of space there, they only had two midfielders really, they were getting dragged over to the side of the ball, so there was space.
“We didn’t utilise that enough first half, but second half, the first shot was decent effort, it was quite close.
“The second one came fairly quickly after and it was just instinct really.
“It opened up, I cut inside and just tried to use the defender, bend it in the corner.
“We said at half time if we can get the ball out there’s space.
“The ball came out to me and I was looking to see if Luke (Bolton) was overlapping me but he was a bit caught behind.
“So I just thought I’d come back inside, the full back just left me to come inside and I had a shot and hit the net.”
Bolton had seen it differently though, saying: “He’s claiming I didn’t help him, but I’m sure I took a defender away with my run!"
The visiting bench and players were disappointed that Shinnie had been allowed to carry on and take aim with midfielder Jonathan Hogg needing treatment for what they felt was a head injury.
However referee Andy Davies didn’t blow and Shinnie added: “I wasn’t aware, it was behind me, I think the new rule is you don’t really play it out until the ref says so, it was play on.
“There wasn’t too much of the game gone on, not like for a couple of minutes, it was pretty fast, we made an attack, came inside and scored.
“They might be a bit aggrieved, but it’s happened now and we’re delighted."