Knudsen: I've Grown as a Player Since Joining Town
Thursday, 19th Oct 2017 16:41
Town defender Jonas Knudsen believes he has made huge strides since first arriving in English football at the start of the 2015/16 season from Esbjerg FB in his native Denmark.
Knudsen said: “I am not the same player I was at my old club. This is my third season in English football and I am really settled. I know everybody better than I did before so it is easier for me to have a voice. Chambo is a brilliant leader but we all have to play our part and have a voice on the pitch.
“I want to be a leader and I’m a different person on the pitch to who I am off it. When we play Norwich on Sunday I’ll be making sure things are being done properly, that everyone is tight to their man, and I will do my shouting. That is how I set myself up for every game.
“I never came into this squad and thought I was a leader from day one. Okay, if you have played 200 or 300 games in the Championship, maybe you can do that. I have grown into the player I am through my performances but I am still the same person off the field.
“I have played enough games now to help the young boys, like Myles Kenlock for example, when he is playing alongside me. He is still young and I have been in that position when I came over from Denmark a few years ago.
“When I was young the guys helped me and now that I amore experienced I want to help the younger lads. You have to help each other, even when the team-mate is fighting for the same position.”
Knudsen has demonstrated his versatility in the last two seasons, not only performing as an orthodox left-back but also on the left of a back three and in the middle of a back four, while also proving his worth as a left wing-back.
He added: “It’s not a problem to be fair. The first time the gaffer put me into the middle of the defence was last year at Aston Villa and I was quite surprised about it.
“I will do my best wherever he asks me to play but I am happy to play in a back three or in the middle of a back four, as well as at left-back.
“I have played in those positions more and more since the Villa game and if I’m at left-back I have to think about getting forward down the left a bit more.
“At the back, as a central defender, you have to be more organised and know where the players are. At left-back or as a wing-back you have that bit more freedom.
“I’m very flexible about where the manager wants me to play and I can honestly say I enjoy it in any position. It’s up to the gaffer what he wants and I’m ready to do whatever he wants me to do.”
Town go into Sunday’s derby on a run of six defeats in their last eight games in all competitions, a far cry from their scintillating start to the campaign when they boasted a 100 per cent record from their opening four Championship fixtures and a Carabao Cup trip to Luton.
But Knudsen claimed: “We are definitely stronger because of the good signings in the summer. We had a few injuries at the start of the season but we didn’t have to cry about that.
“I think we have done alright with the squad we have had available but let’s hope we can get some of the injured players back because we’ll be even stronger.
“Last year was a tough one for everyone but we are stronger this time and we also have a bit more quality. We have two good players for every position.
“Against Norwich we must be 100 per cent ready and get after them. We must make it hard for them on our home ground – we have to go out and smash them!
“It will be about first winning the battle and then playing our football. They know all about how important it is to get a result for their fans so it will be a scrap.
“But after that, once the game has settled down, we have to play our football and be positive, and on the front foot. We have trained very well this week and we are ready for Sunday.”
On a personal note Knudsen could not be happier than he is right now, explaining: “I got married in Denmark in the summer and we are both settled in Ipswich. My wife has finished her nursing qualifications in Denmark and we are enjoying life right now.
“We never feel we are far away from home because we have a lot of visits from family and friends. If we have a few days off we can fly back to see them so it works well.
“I will have five people at the game on Sunday but it is also live on television in Denmark so there will be a lot of people watching at home, including my mum and dad, who are not coming over this time.”
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