Please log in or register. Registered visitors get fewer ads.
Skuse: We Can See Light at the End of the Tunnel
Monday, 3rd Dec 2018 06:00

Midfielder Cole Skuse says he and his team-mates can see light at the end of the tunnel, despite Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest leaving the Blues seven points from safety at the bottom of the Championship.

Skuse says the Blues, who are still to taste victory under new manager Paul Lambert with their current winless run now up to seven matches, are able to take more pluses from games now, even those they've lost.

“A defeat’s never easy but we’re far from beating ourselves up,” Skuse said after the game at the City Ground where Town last won back in 1999.

“We’re not hiding away from the fact that we’re bottom of the league, we’ve come away to Nottingham Forest and we lost 2-0 but we’re taking loads more positives from losing games and bad situations at the minute.

“As a changing room, as a club, we’re in a much better place at the minute and we’re really trying to take the positives out of the defeat.”

Millwall’s 1-1 draw at Bristol City on Sunday meant the gap to safety remains at seven points, a still very significant and rarely bridged margin from this point in a season.

“As I say, we’re not hiding away from the fact that we’re bottom of the league, it’s clear for everyone to see, but there are no panic buttons being pressed, there are plenty of games to play,” Skuse added.

“We’re putting in good performances and, I don’t want to sound like a broken record and sound like I’m just trying to smooth it over with you guys [the media], but we genuinely can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

“We can see it ourselves. It’ll just take that one game where it will turn for us, we’ll get a result and we can see ourselves picking up plenty more points.”

Regarding keeper Bartosz Bialkowski, whose error led to Forest’s first goal having made a mistake for Bristol City’s opener in the 3-2 defeat at Portman Road on Wednesday, the 32-year-old said: “Bart’s old enough and he’s definitely ugly enough to dust himself down and pick himself up.

“He’s an older man in the changing room and he’s going to make mistakes, he’s made mistakes his career, he’s going to make mistakes in his career like anyone in any walk of life.

“But he’s proven in the past three of four years, he’s been voted the Players’ Player of the Year for the past three years and you don’t turn bad overnight. It’s a couple of mistakes, he’ll dust himself down and he’ll be fine.”

Skuse echoed manager Lambert’s words insisting that confidence isn’t an issue despite the current situation.

“Definitely not, definitely not,” the Bristolian stressed. “And, like I say, this is genuine, I’m not coming out here talking to you guys putting a gloss on it, we’re not in there sat facing the floor, beating ourselves up.

“We’re not hiding away from the fact that we’re bottom of the league but we’re in a far more positive place and we’re playing some really good stuff and it’s only a matter of time before that good stuff turns into results.”

Town have kept only one clean sheet this season - in the 0-0 home draw with 10-man Bolton - but Skuse reiterates that the Blues’ fortunes will change now Lambert has taken over.

“I don’t want to keep repeating myself but we’re not hanging ourselves up on the fact we’ve not got a clean sheet,” he added.

“We know the games are ticking off quick, it’s not going to last forever and we’ve not got forever to turn this situation around and we’re not hiding away from the fact we’re bottom of the league, but we’re not worrying.

“The manager’s instilled a really good mindset into the players young and old that things will turn soon enough.”

Skuse agreed the defeat to his old club Bristol City was probably more of a blow to fans than the Forest loss and praised supporters for their commitment and backing home and away, 1,493 having made the trip to the East Midlands.

“Wednesday was disappointing because we were at home against a team that were on a bad run themselves and we’re kicking ourselves a little bit that we should have beaten them, especially having gone 2-1 up,” he admitted. “The goals we conceded were poor.

“The fans travelled in their thousands today and they’re fantastic at home. I feel as if they’re onside, everyone’s onside, the atmosphere’s been fantastic.

“Even walking around the town, walking around the place you can feel a much better atmosphere and I can only thank them for travelling today because, as we know, Ipswich is geographically challenged, it’s not the closest place to everywhere.

“So for them to travel down here and to have come out in their thousands on a wet Wednesday night, it's massively appreciated by all the players and all the staff.”

Asked whether he felt the current situation was difficult for younger players such as Jack Lankester, who made his full debut at Forest, Teddy Bishop, who made his first start since Boxing Day last year, and Flynn Downes, who was among several members of the squad to watch the game from the away end at the City Ground, Skuse said he thought the opposite.

“I’d disagree I think,” he reflected. “If you spoke to them and asked them, the morale and the atmosphere amongst everyone is not a bottom of the league team.

“You can see that Bish and Jack play with no fear, they did today, they played with a bit of an ease, that bit of spark for us.

"Bish showed glimpses of Teddy Bishop when he’s bang at it and I’ve said from day one that he can play at the very top when he’s fully fit.

“And Jack can be the same, he plays with no fear, he plays with a weight off his shoulders and he goes and expresses himself.”

Skuse says he and the other senior pros have a role to play helping the youngsters making their first steps into senior football.

“We’ve got quite a young squad, so maybe you do, you find yourself going around, talking to lads more, checking how they are, ‘How’s your day today…’, so you probably do.

“There are a couple of us older ones but, as I said, the lads are playing with a real good morale and a freedom at the minute that’s been instilled by the staff that there are not too many concerns.”

Skuse paid tribute to skipper Luke Chambers who made his 300th appearance for the Blues at Forest, the club he left prior to joining Town in the summer of 2012.

“You know the relationship me and Chambo have got, he’s a very, very close friend of mine,” he said.

“He’s not just played 300 games for the club he’s been a massive character for the club on and off the field.

“He’s the best captain I’ve worked under and the stuff he does for the club off the field, I don’t think it goes unnoticed because everyone appreciates what he does, but he’s a fantastic captain, he deserves all the plaudits he gets for making his 300 appearances and hardly ever misses a game. He deserves every bit of credit he gets.”

New boss Lambert has lavished praise on Skuse since he took charge and the midfielder says he’s enjoying his football working under him.

“A lot more,” he admitted. “The gaffer’s come in and he’s been very, very positive with myself from day one.

“He’s been the same with most players, to be fair. He’s taken the shackles off a few and said, ‘Go and express yourself, play your football, get on the ball and enjoy yourselves’.”

Is being able to express yourself what has changed since Lambert took over? “I’d say so, you’re playing with an enjoyment again. You’re not enjoying the fact that you’re bottom of the league, it’s a horrible spot to be, but the lads are in a far better place at the minute, they’re really enjoying themselves.”

Lambert said last week he wished Skuse was 27 not six years older, something the player himself agrees with.

“I wish I was 27 at times when I’m getting up tomorrow morning with three kids it’s not easy,” he added. “He’s been very complimentary from day one and I can only thank him for that.”

Skuse says his role for Lambert is more like the one he played under Mick McCarthy and at Bristol City.

“I’ve never been a player that’s going to go and get 20 goals a season,” he said. “If people think that I should be going and getting 20 goals a season then that’s not going to happen, I’m not that player.

“But I played that position a lot for Bristol City and under Mick I played a lot of games there, that is essentially where I prefer to play.

“I like to think I read the game quite well and I can get on the ball and give the ball to the likes of Bish and Jack, any of those forward-thinking boys who go and do their bit. That’s what I’d prefer really.

“By being that deeper one you can get on the ball and get on the half-turn and play forward more rather than being up the field with your back to their goal.

“That’s not me, I’m not a Teddy Bishop, I’m not a Jack Lankester, I’m not going to create loads, I prefer being deeper and getting on the ball and giving balls forward to them boys.”

Play Football, Lose Weight
Ipswich places available now. Save 50% of your registration fee by clicking here, and we'll donate £5 to Prostate Cancer UK.
Read more in our blog about how it works and how 95% of members lose weight.

Photos: TWTD/Pagepix

Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.

runningout added 10:29 - Dec 3
Glad some of you negative types are not playing in my team.. Along way to go yet, with plenty of teams that think they are already promoted, or in the playoff spots to beat and upset. Onwards!

wherescounago added 10:31 - Dec 3
As well as a bust January it could also be busy apologies typo!

Ippy0207 added 10:31 - Dec 3
It’s good to see positivity and I really do hate to put a downer on it but I really hope this doesn’t mean they’re ignoring the many mistakes we make in a match as you can’t expect to win games by gifting goal scoring opportunities away every time we get the ball on defence. Let’s get 3 points against stoke. COYB

brittaniaman added 10:33 - Dec 3
Sorry Cole but we need 8pts. at the moment, to get us to our target of 4th.
Still let us stay positive, Bolton did it last season and Notts Forest the season before, remember they beat us on the last day when the the Bread man was there manager.

norfolkbluey added 10:34 - Dec 3
If Norwich can win so many matches on the trot then so can we in the new year. As a club on the ropes with some obviously glaring weak players which PL will have seen, we have to believe he will bring in players who can add some steel. Two at the back, one in midfield an one up front. Our team could be transformed with four quality and experienced players. We have to keep very positive or THE CLUB WILL GO DOWN!

Lightningboy added 10:36 - Dec 3
Would be great if we could pick up 7 or 8 points between now and January but I Don’t see that happening with this set of players.

No point in getting too down about Saturday’s result..even if we’d been in the top 6 we could’ve still lost at Forest 2-0..they’re a decent side this season.

Plus there’s no point in getting on Lambert’s back no matter what happens this season - the blame lies firmly at Hurst’s door - yes and partly at Marcus Evans’ but he did give Hurst over £6m to squander in the summer.

We just somehow need to stay within striking distance of the 3 or 4 teams above us.

It can be done ✊🏻

pippaine1 added 10:39 - Dec 3
Stop talking your self's up and put in winning performance's,

bugledog123 added 10:46 - Dec 3
Take me to the light!

barrystedmunds added 10:51 - Dec 3
Clearly, he’s on a different train!!

Swn98 added 10:52 - Dec 3
Funny site this Dissboy you down voted me for saying exactly the same as you have just posted after the Bristol game.

martin587 added 11:21 - Dec 3
Still 26 games to go and only seven points adrift.Thats nothing in this game.Just one win and we are up and running and it will come,but we have to stop the stupid mistakes.
There has been a very noticeable difference and the tide will turn.Think positive.Roll on Saturday,I’ll be there as usual.👍

dieselmorris added 11:28 - Dec 3
never before put anything on here just read comments. i am of the opinion that sensible people on here care about the club, look at the team put out on saturday and say evans invests in this club. goalkeeper free, rightback free, leftback300000, centre back free, centre back loan,midfield three made up of free, 300000, youth product, front three made up of youth product,100000, and allegedly 1.75 million player. thats a first team of a total outlay of les than 2.5 million in a first team to compete in this league, first watched this club in early sixties and fear for the future of it now just sad to see.

Hipsterectomy added 11:39 - Dec 3
Aren’t these words usually said before an imminent death? Lmao

brendenward35 added 11:56 - Dec 3
Lets have a long think about this back 4 are not great but how would people change this given the resources that PL has got? Just need to stop this silliness in the team and make us hard to beat somehow. So ideas on a postcard and address to PL at Portman Road

Bluearmy_81 added 12:26 - Dec 3
It mystifies me that some fans are saying relegation may be a good thing in the long run. That shows just how much our ambitions have dropped over the years. The top flight is the rightful place for a club like town when you consider our history and has been the goal since evans took over. Yet some see it as acceptable to drop into the third tier. Relegation would be a disaster. For every Norwich there are 5 Coventry/Blackpool's. And it's probably the same people coming out with this rubbish who see no fault in evans. (He doesn't deserve a capital.)

Bluearmy_81 added 12:30 - Dec 3
"yes and partly at Marcus Evans’ but he did give Hurst over £6m to squander in the summer."

No he didn't!!! He made 12m and spent 6!! And don't start about him putting 7m a year into the club, every club has running costs but most don't expect to progress without investing sufficiently!!

bluemike1969 added 12:31 - Dec 3
Can I restart the 'Gerken gets in a pickle' jokes yet please?

Bert added 12:48 - Dec 3
What else can Skuse say ? He can hardly say we are doomed ! He may not be easy on the eye in the way he plays but he does read the game well unlike a few others who stroll around waiting for the ball. Every club needs a Skuse but admittedly we need more than that just now in a league where we are beginning to look like novices. That said, if we can close the gap a bit between now and the new year and Lambert recruits well, it is not impossible. Sunderland did it.

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 13:07 - Dec 3
Maybe a visit to SpecSavers is overdue? However, great away following at Forest. Let's go down fighting: the players and manager are in fact doing their best, so the supporters need to hang in there too.

Gcon added 13:15 - Dec 3
Skuse is right. Stay positive till end Jan and we'll be OK with new recruits. If 'supporters' start kicking off between now and then confidence will diminish rapidly and we'll go down. Support on Saturday was great, really good atmosphere. We were outclassed rather than outplayed. ME needs to step up and sort this out in January. If he fails us he needs to feel the wrath of supporters.

Len_Brennan added 13:35 - Dec 3
The loss at home to Bristol City having twice led, following the 4 dropped points to Reading & Preston, really hurt our already dwindling chances of survival following the disaster that was the Hurst era. The away loss to Forest was indeed less of a bodyblow. With more difficult games (on paper at least) ahead between now and January, we could conceivably find ourselves even further adrift from Championship safety than the current 7/8 points, despite playing a better & more positive brand of football, by the time the transfer window opens, and with 5 fewer games left from which to get points.
In such circumstances, and obviously I very much hope we are in a far healthier state by then, I would be cautious about spending millions on transfer targets that might come here. Bringing in a goal scoring centre forward, with the quality we need, could be particularly difficult. Who, at that level, is going to want to join a seemingly doomed Championship club on a full contract? Unless the wages offered are far beyond our current structure, I would say there is little to no chance. And even then, what happens if we do go down? Such a player would be in the driving seat when negotiating a contract & be unlikely to agree to a wage drop to Division 1 levels in that event. There are some serious long-term considerations that ME and PL have to give, for the good of the club.
Bringing a current Premier League (upper Championship/Foreign League) reserve in on loan would seem to be the most sensible option, as it would allow us to add the requisite quality, but with minimal medium term consequences in the event that we don’t beat the drop. For that reason, we shouldn’t be looking for a transfer fee ‘war chest’ in January, more a willingness to pay perhaps over the odds wages for 4 ½ months or so.
Due to the high number of loan players we have had here already (thanks PH), I can see PL exercising his ability to cut short the deal for Edun in January, as is being speculated elsewhere. Graham is obviously not coming back, nor can Jonny Walters unfortunately; but with only 5 loans allowed in the match day squad it would make sense for PL to make some further more room where he can.
I know this is quite a pessimistic post. I was really thrilled with Freddie’s 2nd goal on Wednesday, a cracking strike right after conceding a comical o.g. It demonstrated a resilience, strength of character & belief that made me think we can really do this, against all the odds. But the following 6 minutes knocked the stuffing out me! I think Paul Lambert is the right manager to sort out the club, but it will take a bit of patience and I am now accepting of the likelihood that relegation will be our fate come May. Unless we have managed to close the gap on at least 3 of the sides directly above us by the end of New Year’s Day, I don’t think we should jeopardise vital targeted transfer dealings in the summer, by spending millions on whatever transient players are available in January & who are unlikely to play any part in next season but would cost even more of our meagre funds when paying up impractical contracts.
(This is a rehashed post from last week)

Bluesquid added 13:38 - Dec 3
Yeah just coming out of Dartford tunnel after playing Gillingham next season.

blockb_steward added 13:38 - Dec 3
We need 2-3 wins minimum before 1-Jan. Who knows, miracles do happen from time to time and the feel around the club is so much better.

I feel Lambert will stay and will build his team for 19-20 whatever happens.

I follow the Town, up or down COYB!

warktheline added 13:39 - Dec 3
Time to shut up talking and get on with it on the pitch!

geminimustang added 13:55 - Dec 3
The pundits said it should've been 6-0! Are you sure the light at the end of the tunnel isn't a train?

You need to login in order to post your comments

Blogs 269 bloggers

Ipswich Town Polls

About Us Contact Us Terms & Conditions Privacy Cookies Advertising
© TWTD 1995-2020