Knudsen Loving Life in English Football
Monday, 14th Aug 2017 18:41
Town defender Jonas Knudsen is in his third season in English football – and if he has his way there will be many others to follow before he even thinks about returning to his native Denmark.
The 24-year-old defender has been a regular starter since moving to England just over two years ago and is well on his way to completing a century of first team appearances, a career milestone he should be reaching in the coming months.
Knudsen admitted: “I much prefer the game over here and I love everything about it – the culture surrounding it, the atmosphere, the games and the sheer intensity of them. I have been here two years and I want to stay for several more years because I enjoy it so much.
“In my first two seasons I played a lot of games, 81 in total, and I think that was quite good for a player who was new to English football. I was pleased with that and I want to carry on playing regularly in my third season.”
Knudsen was absent towards the end of last season through injury and was asked if he had any concerns about his place in the side in the new campaign, given how Myles Kenlock proved himself a more-than-capable deputy in the left-back role.
He replied: “I felt I did well last season to be fair and after my injury I kept myself fit in the build-up to the new season, so I was ready.
“If I carry on playing the way I have done so far I think I have a good chance to continue as the first choice but I know that at this club there will always be other guys looking to win a place in the team.
“I think the gaffer knows what he will get from me and I made sure that I was ready to go when I came back this year.
“I am happy with the loyalty I have received from the manager but it is about what I can do for the team and he is always going to pick the best player for the job, whether it is me or someone else.
“I think I deserved to be in the team because I had a great pre-season and I felt I had also done well last season until I was injured.
“Myles has done well when he has had a chance but I have more experience and I am determined to keep my place. So while I appreciate the loyalty from the manager I believe I have also earned and deserved it.”
Knudsen is known to his team-mates as Mad Dog and added: “I think it will stick for the rest of my time here. I really don’t know why they call me that, although I believe the boys think I am a good lad off the pitch and they have been brilliant with me from the very first day. They are a fantastic group.
“On the pitch I’m a totally different person because I want to win and the worst thing that can happen is losing. If we win 1-0 and we are playing piss poor – that’s a term I have picked up in England, maybe from the gaffer – I don’t care.
“Football games are about winning. It’s the same in training, I want to win any games there as well, and I think I get a bid mad at times. That’s where the nickname probably comes from.
“On and off the pitch are two different worlds to me. What happens on the pitch is forgotten when we finish – we are all friends again. I don’t go around kicking people but I shout a lot.”
Knudsen has made a significant contribution in both Town’s league wins this season and said: “I know I am a defender but if I get a chance I want to get forward and deliver some good crosses in.
“It was good to have the assist for Joe Garner’s goal in the first game against Birmingham and then on Saturday at Barnsley I raced forward, exchanged passes with Freddie [Sears] and from my ball into the middle Didzy [David McGoldrick] scored the equaliser.
“But the most important thing is that we won the games. I also like to challenge at the far post because there are some good chances there.
“You saw when we played at Norwich last season that when their winger isn’t ready it can lead to a goal. I’ll crack on with that.”
Knudsen actually found the net in both East Anglian clashes last season and laughed: “I’m not just waiting for the Norwich game to score my next goal.
“There are a few games before we play Norwich again and I hope I’ll get a goal before that. We’ll see but otherwise I’ll do my best against Norwich again.”
Town’s success in the Caribao Cup first round tie at Luton last week means they have a second round clash at Crystal Palace next week, which will give them a seven-game August.
But Knudsen said: “I think it is actually going to be something like seven games in 22 days. It’s quite a tough schedule but I’m not complaining. I love to play games – that’s why we do the hard work in pre-season.”
Knudsen and his colleagues underwent a cryotherapy session earlier today before leaving the Playford Road training HQ and heading for their overnight hotel base near London in preparation for tomorrow night’s third league game of the season at Millwall.
The Dane is a big fan of cryotherapy, which takes place in a mobile unit that travels the length and breadth of the country to visit a host of clubs, among them several from the Premier League, although a growing number are installing similar facilities at their own training grounds.
Players spend 30 seconds in a cubicle at minus 60 degrees and then slip next door to another where the temperature has plunged to minus 140 degrees.
Knudsen said: “I think it’s brilliant. It’s a good recovery and we play so many games that we must think about our bodies. We have to eat the right things, get the right amount of sleep, things like that and the ice baths too.
“I know some of the lads don’t like it but I don’t have any problem with it and I even look forward to it. I feel much better after it too and I would miss it if we didn’t do it. I might be the only one but I like it. Maybe it’s because I’m used to cold weather in Denmark.”
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