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Skuse: That's Me for the Season!
Monday, 13th Jul 2015 06:00

Midfielder Cole Skuse joked that he’d hit his goals target for the season after netting Town’s third in Saturday’s 6-0 friendly victory over Shelbourne at Tolka Park.

Skuse scored his first and so far only competitive goal for Town in the 3-1 home victory over Cardiff in April.

“Another goal! That is my tally for the season done, I think, done in one game,” Skuse laughed having lashed a low volley through a crowd of players and into the net from the edge of the box.

The 29-year-old was pleased with the comfortable victory over the Dublin side, although said fitness was the greater concern.

“I know you obviously want to win the game, but it was more about getting 45 minutes in the legs and in the bank for the lads," he said.

“Shelbourne is always a tough place to come, the pitch was very dry but the lads did very well.

“I’d take 6-0, the new lads got on the scoresheet and performed very well, the young lads performed very well so it all in all it was a good game.”

The Blues got off to a great start with Alex Henshall netting the opening goal after only 52 seconds and Skuse says the 21-year-old left winger has done well since the start of pre-season.

“He’s come back really well. He’s had a good go over the summer, did a bit in the gym, he’s had a personal trainer, so he’s kept himself very, very fit. He’s come back very sharp and today he looked very good in the first 45.”

Starting on the other flank in the first half on Saturday was Arsenal loanee Ainsley Maitland-Niles, who has impressed the Blues’ holding midfielder.

“I can’t believe he’s only 17!” he said. “He’s a great lad, he’s such a hard worker. For all his flair, and there were some tricks in the first half, he’s got such a great workrate, which will go down an absolute storm with the manager.”

Alongside Skuse in the first half, facing his old club, was Adam McDonnell. The Irish U18 international joined the Blues from Shels almost a year ago but was unable to play competitive games last season due to issues with his education.

Now 18, he’s free to play and Skuse says he doesn’t look out of place in the first team squad.

“He’s a very, very technically gifted player, a very assured player, very composed. He’s got a lot of good attributes and you can see why the club brought him over from Shelbourne.

“Last year, I know he had a bit of trouble with his clearance, but he trained with us all season and he’s a very good player. He didn’t look out of his depth at all and he makes my life a lot easier.”

The former Bristol City man says he and the rest of the squad were worked hard by manager Mick McCarthy and his staff at the Carton House Hotel in Co Kildare last week.

“It wasn’t the easiest,” he admitted. “It’s a great place to stay, it’s a lovely facility. I know the manager loves it and swears by it.

“We get looked after very well, the food is brilliant, the facilities are very good. It wasn’t the easiest of weeks but we definitely put a shift in and it’ll stand us in good stead.”

Reflecting on last season, Skuse says the manner of the Blues’ play-off defeat made it harder to take: “It was a tough one to swallow, the way in which it happened, I think, because the game plan was going so well.

“Going down to 10 men, you can’t blame anyone for it, but I think if it had stayed 11 v 11 we would have had a very good chance.

“It was a tough one to swallow, but that’s the ups and downs of football. That’s why it’s the biggest and best game in the world and why people love it so much.

“After that, you try and switch off for a bit and spend some quality family time over the summer and then come back and start afresh.”

Fellow midfielder Luke Hyam has experienced another of football’s downs, after undergoing knee surgery which will sideline him for up to four months, having already been out of action since January.

Skuse says the rest of the squad are rallying round the 23-year-old: “Of course they are. It came out of nowhere. We were having a little game in training and Hymsey pulled up and said he’d taken a little nick on his knee and did we mind if he sat down. Everyone was like, ‘Fine, do what you’ve got to do’.

“The next minute he’s saying he’s got to go back and have surgery. The lads were absolutely devastated for him because he’s worked so hard and he’s such a fit boy, an honest pro and he’s come back so fit, so to have that setback again has not just hit him hard but everyone hard.

"He’s a big loss, he’s such a good player, a very under-rated player for us, I think.”

Town are next in action away against Fortuna Düsseldorf on Friday evening, which will be a new experience for Skuse: “It’ll be something different. I’ve actually never been to Germany before.

“I’m really looking forward to it, I don’t know what to expect in terms of the stadium and how they play and what they’ll be like. It’ll be an interesting couple of days.”

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hector_clifford added 06:06 - Jul 13
Come on skusey, aim for 2 this season!

Not sure the players are liking the new shirts collars, skusey and clarke both messing with them in top picture.

HKBlue added 06:36 - Jul 13
Out of the whole article it's honestly great to hear Henshaw doing the extra bit during summer and wanting to make a statement for this year and coming back flying for pre season, I'm sure that's gone down well with McCarthy and hope to be seeing him playing more regularly this season.

Shame on Hyam, I have to agree with Skuse on this one as I feel Hyam is really really REALLY under appreciated for what he does for the team. He gives us a presence in midfield where maybe Bishop and Skuse lack for certain games like Norwich. It's never bad to have a player who will put his f*cking nuts on the line like Hyam and at the end of the day he's living our dream! One of our own and hope he has a speedy recovery!

PS - Before any of the "specific few" reply with saying he's not as good as Bishop or Skuse, all i can say is maybe so but my point being he gives us a completely different dynamic and that's always good to have in the locker.

jas0999 added 06:39 - Jul 13
I know he is only joking, but on a serious note our current midfield have not scored enough goals over recent seasons. Time to splash out and add that missing piece; a goal scoring midfielder.

Slambo added 08:18 - Jul 13
Ha ha, good ol' Cole Skuse! He just doesn't look like a footballer!

You can't even adjust those collars. Starting to go off the new kit a little bit...

Jas0999 - goalscoring midfielder? I've got two words for you: 'David' and 'McGoldrick'...

CavendishBlue added 08:36 - Jul 13

Who's this new signing Henshaw then? :)

Bergholtblue added 09:25 - Jul 13
Don't like the new shirt myself, but on the plus side I will only have to wait a year for the next one!

Looks like it will have to be the Barcelona hand-me-down.

Michael11 added 10:46 - Jul 13
I think Skuse should be looking at a target of 5. He has a really sweet strike on him and I've seen him hit the post a few times. He seems like a really nice guy too. To be fair, all our players seem to be good men these days.

Beattiesballbag added 12:10 - Jul 13
Unfortunately many a true word spoken in jest!

You're a lovely bloke but please even if you don't score any more goals, please please stop passing the ball back to Chambers.

TimmyH added 15:56 - Jul 13
He was one of our more consistent players the last couple of months of last season but to score just 1 goal a season is not good enough (even though he is a holding midfielder) - this problem needs to be addressed by Mick. Maybe McG could play as an attacking midfielder?

Warkys_Tash added 19:42 - Jul 13
Yep, don't like those collars, what was Adidas even thinking of.

Beg holt Blue, going to have to disagree - The new away shirt is one of the best we have ever had, (excepting the 'Pioneer white with black pin stripe' much nicer than the orange!

GeorgeITFC24 added 22:45 - Jul 13
I love the new kit. The collar is actually my favourite part!

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