Joe Ralls Interview by Chris Spittles
Midfielder Joe Ralls scored Yeovil’s second-ever Championship goal when he netted at Sheffield Wednesday last month - and believes the game at Hillsborough marked a turning point for the team.
After Ed Upson sealed an opening day win at Millwall, the Glovers then failed to score in their next four league games.
But Ralls’ impressive strike against the Owls earned Yeovil a point - and he has noticed an increased goal threat since.
The Cardiff loanee said: “I think we’ve been working the keepers more and we’ve definitely been creating more chances.
“In the earlier games we had possession but weren’t really making it count in terms of chances and there’s been an improvement.
“I scored the goal at Sheffield Wednesday and I could have had a couple more since then as well.
“I probably should have scored a late chance I had at Ipswich which would have earned us a draw that night.
“And then against QPR it was only a good save from Robert Green that stopped me scoring in that game.
“And it’s not just me getting the chances, in the last few games a lot of the lads have been getting good opportunities to score.”
Ralls made his debut for Yeovil in the 2-0 defeat at Burnley in August and has impressed so far with his performances in midfield.
But the undoubted highlight was his equalising goal at Sheffield Wednesday, when the 10-man Glovers earned an unlikely point.
The 19-year-old said: “I was really pleased with the goal and of course in the end it proved to be important because we took a point from the game.
“It was the first touch that made the goal really because after that the ball sat up nicely and I was able to put it away.
“And the relief when it went in was huge, I think you could see that in our celebrations and in the fans’ reaction.
“Although we’d been down to 10 men, we’d been playing well and definitely deserved to equalise.
“Even after that we kept pressing forward because we felt we could win the game even though we had a man less.”
Ralls has played the majority of his games for Yeovil on the left of midfield, although he prefers playing in the centre.
The youngster, who can also play at left-back, said: “I am a central midfielder, but I’ve played a lot on the left for Cardiff and I don’t mind it out there.
“I’m not going to be a left winger who gets down the outside and goes flying past the full-back, but I can do a job in that position.
“I naturally tend to drift inside and at times that makes the midfield lopsided because we don’t have much width.
“But we have players like Joel Grant and Kevin Dawson providing plenty of width on the other side and if I tuck in then it means Jamie McAllister can get forward more from left-back.
“I’ve also played a bit in the middle with Ed Upson and Joe Edwards when the manager’s played a different formation and I’ve enjoyed that as well.
“Ed and Joe are good players who keep possession of the ball very well and we’ve struck up a good understanding.”
Any expectations of Ralls being Welsh, given his connection with Cardiff, are shattered immediately when you speak to him.
The midfielder actually hails from Aldershot and has played for England Under-19s but moved to Wales as a 16-year-old.
After playing for both Aldershot and Farnborough, Ralls embarked on a series of trials and had interest from clubs including Fulham, Everton and Notts County.
But it was Cardiff who made the talented teenager feel most welcome and persuaded him to move across the Severn Bridge.
He said: “I was just a young lad enjoying my football when I was playing for Aldershot and Farnborough.
“And in some ways I think that helped me because I had a balanced life and I didn’t lose my hunger for the game at a young age, which can sometimes happen if football is the only thing in your life.
“When I was 15 I decided I’d try to get a scholarship at a club and I started to go on trials with a few clubs.
“Cardiff took me on and it’s turned out to be a great move for me. It’s an excellent club for a young player to be at and of course they’re now in the Premier League.
“Going into the Premier League changed things a bit for a player like me because they’ve recruited top players to make the squad stronger.
“It means I’ve had to come out on loan to get games because I need to be playing at this stage of my career.
“But the move to Yeovil has worked out really well and I know I’ll improve my game here before I return to Cardiff.”