Knudsen: The Busier the Better!
Monday, 14th Aug 2017 18:10
Defender Jonas Knudsen is loving life right now as unbeaten Town continue their hectic start to the new campaign that will see them clock up seven games this month.
“The busier the better,” smiles the Danish international, who doesn’t mind whether he operates as an orthodox left-back, a wing-back or, as has also been necessary on occasions, a centre-half, in both 4-4-2 and 3-5-2 formations. Three games into the new season and Knudsen has already played in as many different positions.
He said: “I have enjoyed it and I will always play wherever the gaffer wants me to play. I played a few games at centre-back last season with Chambo [Luke Chambers] in the middle and I have a good relationship with him. We want to do the best for each other.
“When I’m at wing-back or left-back you can see I have a good relationship with Freddie [Sears]. We have done well in the past and hopefully it will continue.
“When I was young in Denmark I played a bit in centre midfield but people told me I had to play left-back.
“We had a few injuries to centre-backs when we played away at Villa last season and that was the very first time I had played there. We got a good result that day, winning 1-0, and it gave me confidence to do it again and again.
“I played a few games as the left-sided central defender in a 4-4-2 system during pre-season and it’s a little bit different from 3-5-2 because in that formation I also have the space to cover at left-back and I find it a bit easier.
“When the gaffer put me in there at Villa I was thinking ‘Wow, this is the first time I have ever played here’. But I actually found it very easy to be fair because I don’t think it’s a ‘real’ centre-back position because you have two other centre-backs there to cover alongside you.
“I am enjoying it and also on the ball, where I can make some diagonals and also pass it up to the strikers.
“And the biggest thing is that it suits me because I like to defend the goal. That is something I have always liked – to defend first and foremost.
“I thrive on the challenges and I love to win the headers, stuff like that. A clean sheet for a defender is the best feeling. I have scored some goals but stopping them is just as good a feeling for me.
“The defensive part of the game is just as important as the offensive part. If you don’t defend properly and you let three goals in it is going to be very hard to win the game.
“It is much easier to win a game 1-0, like we did against Birmingham when we defended well. I have always liked that part of the game.
“I often tell myself ‘Defend first’ and after that you can do the other things you need to do to win games. As a player I am a defender before anything else.
“All the stuff I can do going forward is brilliant for the team but we have wingers, strikers and midfielders to do that as well.
“The main thing for me is to defend and who better to have alongside me than Chambo? He has the same mentality as a defender and if we keep a clean sheet we have such a good feeling together.
“Some full-backs might not be happy and even worry if they do not get an assist but if they have kept a clean sheet they have done their job, at least that’s how I see it.”
Knudsen has been prominent so far in the new campaign, playing his part in three successive wins and providing an assist for the only goal against Birmingham and then, at the weekend, doing the same thing to allow David McGoldrick to level at Barnsley as Town came from behind to eventually win 2-1.
He added: “It has been a brilliant week or so. We have made a great start to the season and that’s what we needed, not just after last season but our last pre-season game when we lost 6-1 at Charlton.
“I think everyone should be delighted at how well we have done and now we have to crack on and keep the momentum going.”
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