Bree: More to Come From Me
Tuesday, 12th Feb 2019 16:14
Town loanee James Bree is convinced he has much more to contribute than he did in his first two appearances after arriving from Aston Villa at the end of last month that both ended in defeat.
Bree may have earned pass marks in his debut against Sheffield Wednesday and at Norwich on Sunday but he is still getting up to speed in terms of match fitness after a frustrating time at his parent club.
He explained: “In terms of my match fitness I’m not quite 100 per cent yet. I think I’m still a little bit off it but the games for Ipswich are coming in quick succession and that will definitely help. Maybe in a couple of weeks I’ll be bang at it. There’s definitely more to come from me.
“In terms of my performances so far I think it’s just been a case of being thrown in there and trying to do my job.
“I know I can perform better and get on the ball more, and hopefully show more of the attacking side of my game. At the moment I think I just need to do my defensive duties and then obviously the other side will come.
“Back in my time at Barnsley I was playing with a lot of energy, getting up and down the pitch.
“I think I need to get that back into my game and also start getting more crosses into the box. Hopefully I can get on the ball more and start to get my game back, and when it does that will happen.”
Wakefield-born Bree has been at Villa for just over two years, joining in the January 2017 transfer window after catching the eye with his form for the Tykes and signing a four and a half year contract. But he admitted: “For me, personally, it hasn’t been the best of seasons with Villa.
“Obviously, I haven’t really kicked on since I moved there a couple of years ago. On a personal note it hasn’t been the best and as a team we haven’t done what we wanted to do this season. Now, for me, it’s all about Ipswich and what I can do for them.
“I have no regrets about going to Villa when I did. At the time I thought it was the right move for me and I back that decision 100 per cent.
“It’s just about what I can do now and hopefully I can get some good games under my belt here then go back and push for a first team spot up there.
“It’s been a tough time for me at Villa. There was obviously a step up in quality from a team that had come down from the Premier League and I’ve also had to adapt to living away from home for the first time at the age of 19.
“It’s been a big change – I was at Barnsley since I was 11 or 12 years old – but I settled in fine.
“They have some good full-backs there and it was a case of fighting every day in training to prove myself. I haven’t played as many games as I would like but hopefully this loan move will help.”
Asked if he still saw a future for himself at Villa, he replied: “I will look at the situation and evaluate it in the summer so we’ll see what happens then. I’d love to play there but if that doesn’t happen we’ll have to see what’s next for me.”
For the time being, however, Bree stressed his only thoughts are on doing as well as he can for a Town side who are really up against it at the bottom of the table and nine points from safety with only 15 more games to be played this season.
Up next for Town is tomorrow night’s home clash with big-spending Derby and on Saturday the visitors to Town are a Stoke side struggling to readjust following relegation from the Premier League in May when Paul Lambert was in charge.
Bree added: “We’re nine points off at the minute so we need to get wins and we need to start doing it quickly. We’ve got 15 games left now, so that’s 45 points we can get on the board. As long as we get as many as we can we’ll see what happens.
Meanwhile, Bree echoed the thoughts of his team-mates on the terrible news that six-goal top scorer Freddie Sears has been ruled out for a minimum of nine months with a cruciate ligament injury sustained in the first half of Sunday’s derby defeat at Carrow Road.
He said: “It was horrible news to hear. When we saw him get injured at the weekend we didn’t think it was going to be that bad.
“For Fred it’s going to be a long road back and we’re all wishing him the best. Now it is up to the rest of us to battle on.
“We still have players who can score goals. The quality is there and I’ve seen it with my own eyes in training.
“The lads have performed at the other clubs where they’ve been. It’s just a case of everyone getting together now and creating the chances because I think at the weekend we had some good passages of play but no real end quality.
“If we can get some balls into the box, and provide for them, they can finish them off.
“But it’s not just the strikers. Everyone needs to push on and get forward. That’s just down to energy and believing everyone will be doing their jobs as we look to score the goals to win us games.”
Bree still has plenty of affection for first club Barnsley, having made his debut almost five years ago at the age of 16 – on the final day of the season when they were relegated – to become the Tykes’ second-youngest player of all time. In the 2015/16 season he helped them to win promotion back to the Championship.
He said: “I’ll always appreciate what happened at Barnsley and I still love the club. I’m pleased they are doing so well in League One this season and I’d love to see them get promoted back to the Championship again. There’s a very good academy set-up there and everyone works really hard.
"It’s quite a small club and everyone is close and tight-knit. When it comes to producing players their record is outstanding – look at John Stones and Mason Holgate for example – and being at a club like that helped me a lot.”
Bree also believes that relegation to League One doesn’t have to be the disaster that many people envisage. “Playing regularly at that level could give young players a big boost,” he claimed, “and there are several top-quality lads at this club who would benefit from getting some games and then in turn help to push Ipswich back up again.
“The young players here are every bit as good as those at Barnsley and Villa. A lot of them have already been pushed into the first team squad and been involved in games.
“At both Barnsley and Villa there were really only a couple like that but there are far more here and if relegation happens it could give them the chance they need.”
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