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Knudsen: Bart Being Dropped Shows Nobody Can Take Their Place for Granted
Thursday, 13th Sep 2018 15:54

Jonas Knudsen may be Town’s odd man out as the only player to have enjoyed some action at the World Cup this year.

But the Danish defender believes the decision to drop goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski, an unused substitute for Poland in Russia, for the recent East Anglian derby clash with Norwich, underlines that no player is guaranteed a place in Paul Hurst’s starting line-up.

Knudsen, an ever-present under new boss Hurst this season, reflected on the decision to axe Bialkowski for Dean Gerken, who Hurst has confirmed will start again at Hull on Saturday, and said: “It was a big call, no doubt about that. Everyone knows that because Bart has been absolutely brilliant.

“We all know how big a part he has played for the team in the last two or three years and what a keeper he is.

“It was a surprise – he was player of the year three seasons in a row – but it is the manager’s decision.

“We all support Bart as much as we can but it’s up to the manager who he wants to play. I think Bart has been absolutely brilliant and it was a little bit of a surprise, but that’s how football is sometimes.

“He has to react now and I think Bart will do that. Hopefully we will see him fighting for a place again but we know how it is – no player can take his place for granted.

“It has to be like that and it has to be up to the manager to select the team he wants. We all have to accept we are no better than our last game.

“If you want to play you have to be at your best in training and do your stuff every single day, as well as in the games. That’s how it has to be. It’s up to the gaffer and if he doesn’t want to play Bart, or me, or Chambo, or Skusey, that’s up to him.

“It’s his decision and the only thing we can do as players is to make sure that in every single training session you do your best. Then it’s up to the manager to pick the team. We can see that no one can be sure of his place.”

Knudsen turned his attention to Town’s start to life under Hurst and added: “We haven’t made the start we wanted to make to the season. If you look at the start this year and the start last year it’s not the best.

“Everyone wants to get off to a good start and while it’s a long season we also have to get some more points on the board.

“We need to get a win because while drawing is alright it is by winning games that you pick up the points. We have to make sure we start doing this.

“I don’t think we need to be too worried because I don’t think we have been playing too badly and no one has played us off the park. But I’d rather we sometimes played s*** and got a win because it’s all about winning.

“We need points now. I don’t want to be sitting here in May with 25 to 30 points and we’ve been relegated. I want to get 50 points and make sure we stay up. We have to work hard on the training field on everything, but at the end of the day we have to win games and I’ll make sure we’re going to do that on Saturday.”

Town travel to face Hull on Saturday then take on Brentford at home on Tuesday before ending the week at Portman Road again, this time against Bolton, who have not only narrowly avoided the plunge into administration but the 12-point penalty that would have accompanied it.

Knudsen continued: “I think we all know how hard the Championship is and we can’t just say we are going to go out and win this or that game. I thought we played a good game against Rotherham but maybe people will think Rotherham are not the best team.

“We conceded a bit of a stupid goal right at the end and if you do that you are not going to win games. We have to make sure that doesn’t happen and at the same time take our chances to score as well.

“We are going into a big week. After Hull away we have two home games, so we have to make sure we get some points out of that. If we work as hard, and play as well, as we have done in the other games I think there will definitely be some points out there.

“We have to make sure we do the small things well enough because I have always said that you are not going to win games between the boxes, you are going to win them in the boxes.

“That’s what we have to make sure we do this week and hopefully we will pick up a good few points.”

Photo: Action Images



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JCBLUE added 06:53 - Sep 14
Aspiration 50 points ......?!!
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JewellintheTown added 09:26 - Sep 14
" It’s up to the gaffer and if he doesn’t want to play Bart, or me, or Chambo, or Skusey, that’s up to him". Interesting he pulls those names out. I'm assuming it's because they're part of the "old" Mick stock and not Hursts "new" stock, but is there more to it than what appears? Jonas does have a habit of opening his mouth and saying what he feels more than other more diplomatic players.
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wherescounago added 09:48 - Sep 14
Jewellinthetown I listened to what he said on Radio Suffolk earlier and like you had the same thought. Sears, Emmanuel, Ward and other Mick players seem to have been pushed down the pecking order. Bart has had a couple of wobbles early on, so there's an excuse to leave him out and with no Contract offer as yet for Jonas are his and days of the other three numbered? Hope not, but wouldn't be surprised to see Jonas be "Given a rest" soon.
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timspencero added 12:30 - Sep 14
I agree JewellintheTown, he just gets it wrong for me.

He's not savvy when he speaks. Forgets his audience, I think. Feel sorry for Gherkin. Bart had a poor first few games and was responsible for us not getting wins. I was surprised he was barely being mentioned in relation to goals we were conceding. That's big, a keeper making errors, it matters.

Gherkin had a good pre-season and has been given an opportunity. Knudsen would do well not to see dropping Bart as an attack on 'his' view of what the team should be, give credit to Gherkin for being ready and able, and say he's just concentrating on making sure he continues to take the faith shown in him so far.

This loose talk of 50 points, survival, and so on - it's all very, very clumsy - like his post McCarthy interview was. Just focus on improving your own game mate, it's not strong enough to have views beyond that.

I love the passion in Knudsen, I don't think he adds much more than a player 'able' to play in that position. I'd probably re-sign him - but hope that he was squad backup rather than a player to take us forward as he *adds* little, overall.

I think he loved McCarthy and feels the sense of loss since the new regime has less loyalty to poor performances, and there is now evidently a little deliberate distance between [some?] players and management.

Time will tell if it's a healthy distance or not. It's not universal as Hurst's clearly giving plaudits to Walters who is someone living up to his expectation and being praised as a consequence. Sometimes perhaps Hurst's expectations are a little further than we're used to,which is a good thing - the only criticism being that it might be slightly more towards the Keane 'shout at him until he performs' than the Robson 'arm around' encouragement. Hopefully behind the scenes he's a little more nuanced...
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