Andrew Gale: Ruthless streak required '“ for Yorkshire's cricketers and Roy Hodgson's footballers
RYAN SIDEBOTTOM and Jack Brooks should be back from injury in the next two or three weeks and that will be a big plus for us at Yorkshire.
‘Sidey’ and Jack were both up for the last few days at Durham for the County Championship game, although Scarborough might be a game too early for them both.
Last year, Ryan went down and missed the first six or seven weeks with a calf injury and he came back and had a fantastic time of it. It was like a new signing and the sooner we get him and Jack back, the better.
It was a solid draw for us at Durham, although I guess it was a little bit disappointing, given the position we were in at the end of day two when we were really bossing the game.
But credit goes to Durham. They are a similar team to us really and they fight back hard.
They are a really gutsy side and dug in and Keaton Jennings probably played one of the best knocks of his career so far.
You have to give Durham some credit for that.
The pitch wasn’t turning on days three and four and it just showed that we missed Rash (Adil Rashid).
That said, the lads bowled well. As senior bowlers, Patto and Bres got a bit of a flogging really, while Josh Shaw and Ben Coad came in on debut and did a decent job.
But you can’t expect them on debut to tear it up and they are still learning their trade and I thought that they did well in the circumstances.
Having said that, we were probably just lacking that extra senior seamer and a good spinner.
On the last day, it was always going to be a long haul, chasing down such a total.
We knocked off 330 there a few years back and Rooty (Joe Root) got 180 and played out of his skin.
I think it was the fourth highest chase and that took us just over a day.
This week, it was a tough call, especially given the wicket which wasn’t as flat as it was a few years back and was going a bit up and down.
Looking at the title race, it looks tight and no-one is tearing it up.
But if we can go on a run and win two or three games in a row, then that puts us right ahead of the pack.
We are playing well in patches, but we have missed opportunities to be ruthless and take the game away from the opposition. But we are still in the hunt.
Personally, my wrist stood up well and I felt I was getting back to a bit of form this week.
I was disappointed in the first innings to get out in the fashion that I did because I felt as good as I have all year.
Hopefully, a big score is right around the corner for me.
Onto the England one-dayers and Liam Plunkett’s knock – including a six off the last ball to tie against Sri Lanka earlier this week – was brilliant; I am really pleased for him.
We have seen what he can do for Yorkshire and he hits a big ball.
Up to that point, he didn’t look like hitting a six as he was probably trying to swing too hard and swing himself off his feet.
To be fair, the rest of the over saw the Sri Lankan bowler get his yorkers in, but just miss his length and Liam kept his shape.
I was really pleased for him.
As for the football at Euro 2016; well, I actually think that England have played quite well and it has been quite encouraging.
I just hate all the negativity around.
I think they have hammered all three teams in the group stages without being ruthless really.
I think if we can get one of our strikers in good form, then who knows.
When it gets to the knock-out stages, then it is anyone’s to win.
Obviously, it’s Iceland and not Portugal on Monday. Although if we had Portugal and beat them, then we might have got more confidence.
Sometimes going through the hard way can be better, but we will see.