Downes: My Head Started to Go
Friday, 1st Feb 2019 16:27
Blues midfielder Flynn Downes has revealed how he struggled with the mental side of football last season and how he benefited from his loan move to Luton Town.
The academy product, from Brentwood in Essex, broke through into the Ipswich first team in pre-season ahead of 2017/18 but as the campaign wore on drifted out of contention before joining the Hatters on deadline day last January and helping them to win promotion from League Two.
“The manager [Mick McCarthy] said it was what I needed at the time and he was right,” Downes, 20, says in an interview with the matchday programme for tomorrow’s game against Sheffield Wednesday.
“I had gone from playing for the U18s, to being in the first team here. Then I got picked for England [U19s]. Everything was on a high but then when things started to drop off for me, my head started to go.
“I was going home thinking I wasn’t fit enough and that I needed to do more. Then the anxiety over that started to affect me in training. It started to get to me mentally. I was going into training and over-thinking stuff.
“That’s why I had to get away. The gaffer spotted that and going to Luton made all the difference to me. It was something new. I didn’t know what to expect but the change worked wonders for me.
“The mental side is everything. You can be the quickest player, the strongest but if you are not bang on it mentally then your body won’t do it.
“That is what I have learnt. I have changed my look at that. I don’t beat myself up now if training doesn’t go as well as I wanted. I used to.”
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