Sears Desperate to End Long Wait for a Goal
Thursday, 8th Mar 2018 16:00
Freddie Sears is desperate to end his long wait for a goal, having failed to find the net in his 30 Town appearances this season plus a further three at the end of the last campaign.
The 28-year-old former West Ham youngster made his first team debut for the Hammers a decade ago when he was introduced as a substitute against Blackburn Rovers at Upton Park and within five minutes earned his side a 2-1 home win.
He was a regular marksman at previous club Colchester and when he joined Town in January 2015 he scored seven times in 23 games through to the end of the season as he operated up front in tandem with 27-goal leading marksman Daryl Murphy.
But the goals have dried up in the current campaign, although Sears is quick to point out that the vast majority of his appearances – 11 from the start and a further 19 as a substitute – have seen him operating in a wide role rather than through the middle.
He said: “I’m missing the goals. It’s been a tough season, disappointing and frustrating, for me personally.
“I haven’t been playing regularly and I haven’t been scoring goals. I want to be among the goals and score as many as I can but it’s difficult when you’re not playing regularly and you might only be getting 10 minutes, sometimes even less, when you come off the bench.
“It’s often been one game and then sub for the next five, but I’m staying positive and continuing to work hard so we’ll see what happens.
“I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – striker is my position and I’ve been a bit unlucky that we’ve been playing with only one up top.
“When I first came here we were playing 4-4-2 and we always played two up front, which got the best out of me.
“I’ve been asked to play a different role, maybe left or right, and you do it for the team. But on a personal note it’s not where I want to be playing and I don’t believe the club is making the most of my qualities by playing me there.
“I see myself as a centre-forward playing alongside someone and making the runs in behind.”
Asked if he was desperate for some action through the centre of the park, Sears added: “My best qualities are running behind and playing on the last defender’s shoulders. You can’t really do that out wide because you’re sort of stuck to one side of the pitch.
“I don’t want to say too much because I’m happy to play anywhere in the team but my best position is at centre-forward.
“My confidence has definitely been affected by the lack of goals. When you are scoring goals you’re bouncing on to the pitch but it’s different when you’re not finding the net.
“It’s alright getting minutes if you are having a good run of games but I haven’t played back to back games since August, which makes it tough.
“But the gaffer’s been great, he has spoken to me about it and I’ve just got to keep working hard because, like he has said before, you’ve got to be ready at all times.
“I started the first four or five games then I was left out. I remember coming in at Villa and I didn’t do too well. It was tough because I was thrown in but I wasn’t match fit and an away game at Villa Park is never going to be easy.
“It’s nice to get a run of games and having played against Sunderland and Cardiff, then having a good run on Tuesday at Hillsborough, I feel better for it.”
Town go into Saturday’s home clash with Sheffield United on the back of successive away wins at Preston and Sheffield Wednesday and they are anxious for another three points to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for the play-offs.
As things stand they are seven points adrift of sixth-placed Middlesbrough but they face struggling Hull in a rearranged fixture at Portman Road on Tuesday and if ever there was a time to improve their home form it is now.
Mick McCarthy’s men have won three and drawn two of their last five games on the road but it’s been a different story at home, capturing all three points just once in their last six games and scoring a mere two goals in that time.
Sears said: “Hard work and playing away from home seems to suit us at the minute. We’ve got a lot of pace on the counter attack, which is good, and we’re also resilient.
“We haven’t let in a lot of goals and we’re playing a new system with three centre-backs and two wing-backs. It’s been really good.
“I didn’t actually realise our home form was so bad. It’s been disappointing and I remember the Burton game, which is the one that stands out.
“There are games when you are expected to win and that was one of them. It was a frustrating afternoon but teams are coming to Portman Road and they are setting up a different way, almost the way we set up when we go away.
“It’s up to us to break them down and to get the boys with a bit of extra quality, like Bersant and Waggy, to make the difference.
“We want to do it for our fans. Those who travelled all the way to Sheffield on Tuesday were brilliant and they got their reward in the end. Hopefully we can do that for the 16,000 or 17,000 at Portman Road on Saturday.”
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