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Skuse Pleased for Sears and Roberts
Thursday, 8th Nov 2018 16:23

Cole Skuse has praised strike pair Freddie Sears and Jordan Roberts after they teamed up for the first time in new manager Paul Lambert’s first game in charge, the 1-1 draw with Preston at Portman Road last weekend.

Sears scored his first goal of the season from the spot while Roberts, making his first senior start since a free transfer move from Crawley in the summer, caught the eye with a tireless display alongside him as Lambert opted for a 4-3-3 shape to launch the latest chapter of his managerial career and it would be no surprise if the due impressed sufficiently to be given another opportunity at Reading on Saturday.

Skuse, 32, said: “We weren’t just pleased for Freddie to get his goal but with the way he reacted as soon as the penalty was given. He was ballsy enough to go and grab the ball, and say ‘I’m having this’. Being in the position we are in that’s no mean feat.

“He took it upon his shoulders to go and get the goal we needed at the time. Fair play to him and as much as we were over the moon for him that he scored, it also showed a sign of his true character that he was willing to take the responsibility like that.

“We’re not hiding away from the fact that we need goals and that we are where we are in the league, five points adrift of the team just above us.

“As much as we are keeping the morale high and there’s still plenty of banter in the group to keep things going, we’re not forgetting we are bottom of the league.

“It was great for Freddie to get his goal and he’s the type of player who can go on to get 15 to 20 goals in a season, which would be a massive boost for us as well as him.

“All the lads were made up for Jordan because he’s a great kid. Managers have their own opinions and for whatever reason Jordan wasn’t involved in the squad with the previous manager.

“But from one day to the next you would see him come in and he never moped around or sulked.

“He would just go off and do his training, get his stuff done, and you take your hat off to people like that who stay mentally strong so that when they are called upon they are ready to deliver.

“He had a great performance against Preston, led the line very well, was a focal point and gave us a presence. If he had gone on to get a goal I think the lads would have been all over him.

“After the game – I don’t know if it was led by me – all the lads gave him a round of applause and said ‘Well done, you were brilliant for us today, you really helped us out’. In terms of a focal point, the way he led the line, he was fantastic, so full credit to him.

“Paul Hurst signed Jordan because he’s a good player. For whatever reason things didn’t work out for him under Paul Hurst and Doigy but as soon as the new manager came in, from day or day two, he was asking questions about him and why he wasn’t featuring in the team.

“In training his technique is up there with some of the best I’ve seen in terms of his finishing. Also, he’s the type of character you want around the team. He’s fantastic and full credit to him for his performance last weekend.”

Skuse also took time to praise young midfield colleagues Flynn Downes, who started against Preston, and Andre Dozzell, who continued his comeback from injury with an appearance from the bench towards the end of the game.

“I cannot speak highly enough of Flynn,” said Skuse. “He’s someone who has had recognition with his England call-ups and for me he is someone who should be cemented in and around the England set-up.

“He’s a lovable character as well. He’s one who might be the brunt of a few jokes but he takes it on the chin and gets on with it. In terms of playing ability he’s very, very good.”

Asked if Downes and Dozzell are getting close to being regular choices, Skuse smiled: “Maybe it’s us old ‘uns that are clogging up the system. But seriously, when it comes down to who plays it’s a managerial decision and not down to the likes of me.

“But both Flynn and Andre are mentally strong kids. Look at Doz, his injury was a real bad one and yet he came back sooner than expected. He doesn’t miss a training session and both he and Flynn are arguably two of the best trainers in the squad.

“Their mentality is spot-on, second to none, and you can only wish players like that all the very best for the rest of their careers.”

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