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Skuse: Town Future Out of My Hands
Thursday, 28th Sep 2017 15:50

Town midfielder Cole Skuse is facing an uncertain future with his Portman Road contract set to expire at the end of the season, although the club have an option to extend his stay for a further 12 months.

Skuse, 31, is hoping to reach agreement with club owner Marcus Evans and prevent a repeat of last season’s uncertainty over skipper Luke Chambers, who was in a similar position and had to wait until the final weeks of the campaign before accepting the offer of a new two-year deal.

Chambers was even close to rejoining former club Nottingham Forest in the January transfer market before Town pulled the plug on the move and said earlier this week that he hoped they would be quicker off the mark to deal with other players who find themselves in the same situation he was in just a few months ago.

Skuse said: “It’s my final year but the club have an option on next season. If they want to take that up it’s their choice but otherwise it’s the final year of my permanent contract.

“It’s out of my hands. They might not want to give me another year and could be waiting for it to wind down, then they tell me ‘Your time’s done, off you pop. Get yourself back down the motorway to somewhere else.’

“But if they’re looking to offer me a new deal I’d like to get it done sooner rather than later. I don’t want it dragging on.

“I thought Chambo was a credit to himself the way he handled his situation last season. But the club are right to do what they need to do, so whatever will be, will be.

“I love it here, we love Suffolk and I’m speaking on behalf of my wife and kids as well.

“We bought a house here, we’ve made it our home and we’re settled here. As soon as I signed we made plans to move here and make a proper go of it.

“I didn’t want my missus staying in Bristol and me travelling back and forth. We moved here to stay here.

“It’s a lovely spot and I love the club. It’s been a pleasure to play for the club and hopefully I can get a new deal sorted. If they want to get something sorted I’ll be happy to get it done.”

Town, who thumped struggling Sunderland 5-2 at Portman Road on Tuesday, are at home again on Saturday when in-form Bristol City make the long cross-country trip. The Robins, just one place below sixth-placed Town, are managed by Lee Johnson, friend and former team-mate of Bristol-born Skuse when they played together at Ashton Gate.

Johnson, speaking yesterday, tipped Skuse to carry on playing until his late 30s and even went as far as suggesting he would love to work with him again one day, leading to Skuse responding: “That’s a nice thing for him to say. I do feel I look after myself and can keep going for a while and you never say never about any job.

“Who knows what’s going to happen for me here and who knows where it’s going to happen for him? It could be that I play for him at Bath City or Forest Green Rovers in four or five years’ time.”

Skuse is delighted that ambitious City, for whom Johnson won promotion from League One, kept faith with him during a difficult time last season when they seemed in danger of returning to the third tier.

He added: “This season has been brilliant for them and they are unbeaten in 10. He – not just him but as a collective group – had a bit of a tough time last season.

“They had a great start last season but then went through a rough patch in the middle part of the season before they had to pick up a few points to survive.

“I’m glad he’s turned it around and got everyone back onside. He’s a great coach and you could always see he was going to be good at coaching.

“He’s a great guy and he’s got a great group of players. Saturday aside, I hope they do okay.

“I spoke to him throughout the season but Lee is a very strong character. He doesn’t get too down and he keeps plugging away. I spoke to him through the rough times but I was probably the last person he’d want to hear from because we had our own problems here.

“I’m just pleased they stuck by him. You see it happen and even in the Premier League, where managers get three or four games and then they’re out the door.

“That’s a sad state of affairs and I don’t get it. If you’re going to employ someone and try to go down the route of their philosophy you’ve got to give them more than three or four games. It’s outrageous but who am I to pass judgement on the hierarchy at certain clubs?

“It was great that they stuck by Lee – it’s paying off now – and they have said they are going to stick by him regardless. They have a plan in place and it’s not just a short-term one.

“I won’t see him or speak to him before the game but I’ll see him for a chat afterwards and see how he is. It’s not as if we go ages without speaking but I’ll have a catch-up after Saturday’s game and wish him all the best we play them next time.”

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midastouch added 15:59 - Sep 28
A couple of weeks ago I would of said thank you but no thank you, but the last couple of weeks Skuse has made me start to think again. Perhaps the club would be wise to to assess his form up until Xmas and if he continues to impress then get the ball rolling on constructive talks and negotiation in the new year.
Keep up the good work Skusey.

WhoisJimmyJuan added 16:01 - Sep 28
Tricky this one for me. He us having a better season this season as the whole team are. At the moment he is starting every game. However, the likes of Downes and co are pushing hard from the youth ranks so my thought would be to certainly take up the one year option and let him know this sooner. But hold fire for now on a new deal until the summer and see how the whole squad is doing.

cat added 16:01 - Sep 28
Being honest here I'm far from being Skuseys No1 fan, but there's no doubting or taking away from the fact he has massively upped his game this year and has been producing the goods nearly every game. Being cynical, I hope this change in form is not contract related, as many players have done in the past, but whichever way you look at it, his place in the current team is certainly warranted.
Same applies to the manager I guess!!!

cornishnick added 16:02 - Sep 28
Different class Skusey, a proper bloke.

Edmundo added 16:02 - Sep 28
Earn your corn by helping us to reach the playoffs and a new contract will take care of itself.

georgekitfc added 16:07 - Sep 28
There should be absolutely no question in the renewal of his contract. Hes essential to towns starting 11.

Pilgrimblue added 16:25 - Sep 28
Too early to say but he's looked better in attacking team with midfield playing as a unit. For me it all depends where we finish. But with so many youngsters coming through he may find competition too much.
Also depends on who'll be Manager!

oldelsworthyfan added 16:46 - Sep 28
No doubt the more attacking players around him have helped his game. I guess MM will see how things go before committing to next season.
Now the worry for me is the form and ability of Luke Chambers. He spent too long at Right Back and because of his poor positional sense/anticipation he's the weakest link.

BlueandTruesince82 added 17:01 - Sep 28
The start of this season alone shows the need for depth in MF. Even if, as we all hope, Downes and Dozzell push on to cement a MF pairing skuse in the squad will provide solid cover.

He got a lot of stick last year and to a point its deserved, thendifference this season is his pushing on and vision. Skuse always did a good job of protecting the back 4 which is his main job but the truly great DMFs also have vision vital to a counter attacking style that we tend to play.

Pirlo, Keane, Dechamps, Kante now can break up play and at once change the play with either a pinged long ball to a man in space or swift release to those closer. Pirlo was an utter master. This year for whatever reason we have seen more of that side to Skuse which changed him from a solid player to a decent one.

If that goes again I'd still like his experience nouse and solid play available to come in when needed but I very much hope we continue to see the Skuse 2.0 we have seen much more of this year.

Take up the option and add another year, No brainer for me.

Ferguson added 17:20 - Sep 28
Keep him. He's always been a player McCarthy rated and alongside Adeyemi is finally showing his potential. Sunderland was my first match of the season, so I was genuinely impressed by the team as a whole, starting 11 and subs. Like everyone Skuse played very well on Tuesday.

By the by, Freddie Sears darting about here there and everywhere looked like something out of Angry Birds. And he ruffled a few feathers too ! lol

amy73 added 17:33 - Sep 28
The whole point of these options is that club don't need to make a decision until the end of the season and that's what will happen, just like with Chambers. Why on earth would they make a decision earlier? Funny how players improve their game when they're playing for a new contract.

irishtim added 17:44 - Sep 28
Not his biggest fan or critic.Think he should be kept on as his influence on our young players coming through could be invaluable.

BlueHarmony added 17:49 - Sep 28
A no-brainer for me, as he does so much of the dirty work with his blocks & tidying up at the back that often goes unseen. He's also highly skilful & got a great fitness record (touch wood).
We also need to give Dave McGoldrick a new contract & both deals done before the Jan window opens

terryf added 17:52 - Sep 28
He's probably one of the first names on the Team sheet so I have no doubt Town will offer him a 2 year contract at some stage.
I know he has a lot of doubters but I can remember the Bristol City Manager at the time he came here saying you don't notice him until he's not in the Team.
The same applies with us so I'm sure a deal will be sorted out before the end of the season.

martin587 added 17:57 - Sep 28
We don't need any uncertainty at the club.We had it last season and it caused a great deal of unrest.Just bear that in mind.🤔

Ipswichbusiness added 18:18 - Sep 28
I have been critical of him, but that said he has been a loyal servant to the club. Simple decency dictates that the club communicates a decision to him in good time for him to make arrangements one way or the other. It would be good to hear of it by the New Year.

TimmyH added 19:05 - Sep 28
Interesting this issue about his contract comes up just as he's had a couple of quite good games...personally I'd keep him for another 12 months just on the basis of at least a squad player, I still think he needs far more competition for his place, whether that's through the youth system or signing another holding midfielder - he shouldn't be an automatic starter.

Geddis78 added 21:06 - Sep 28
Every team needs a Skuse. The guy who never catches the eye, never stands out, but always provides that cover in front of the defence and allows the quality players the freedom to get forward. He suffered last year because he was paired with Douglas, a similar player, and we all wanted some more from him. This season, he has some more attacking players around him and there is no pressure on him to do anything other than break up play and give simple passes. Never great, never poor. A good solid professional who always gives his all. Nice to see him getting some well earned praise and recognition.

heathen66 added 21:13 - Sep 28
I too have been very critical of him and in all honesty have only seen a handful og good games from him, one of which was on Tuesday. For a nice change we were able to see Skuse contribute and not just do the things that no one notices. As mentioned in previous post (edmundo). Play like you did on Tuesday for the majority of the games for the rest of the season and keep us in the play-offs then a new contract will take care of itself. However at 31 I would personally take out the option of another year and see where we are in January next season. If he has slipped back into his annonymous style of recent years then sell him in January and get a fee for him. Do not just let him leave like we did Berra. The club has no money and we cannot afford to give him away.
We have Downes and Huws who can replace Skuse NOW !!! if needed

gobs93 added 00:26 - Sep 29
Always been a fan of Skuse and really hope he stays. Does a job not many would do in the team, top character and a good role model for younger players!

shakytown added 06:08 - Sep 29
We need Skuse to stay for a least one or two more years as none of our youngsters are ready and the likes of Bishop and Hyam are lost causes. Lots of people have bagged him for no reason and most of them have absolutely no football knowledge at all. Mucks obsession with Douglas was the problem.

Lightningboy added 11:09 - Sep 29
Not for me - very very average at best - people say he's underrated but for me he does what any basic professional should be able to do in his position - tackle and pass - and he does these things very very averagely - with the added bonus of 2 goals in 4 seasons.

Nowhere near good enough and the wrong side of 30 - maybe harsh but a couple of decent games is not changing my view.

Please do not renew.

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