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Nsiala: We Can Come Straight Back Up
Friday, 3rd May 2019 17:09

Toto Nsiala is confident Town can regain their Championship status at the first time of asking – but has warned about the extra workload in League One.

The central defender played 58 times for Shrewsbury last season, just four appearances short of a perfect attendance record, as they played more games than any other side in England thanks to reaching the Checkatrade Trophy and League One play-off finals, where they lost to Lincoln and Rotherham respectively.

In comparison Town played just 48 games and former Everton youngster Nsiala, 27, said: “There are a lot more games in League One and you don’t get the international break that you get in the Championship.

“It’s every week – Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday – and we’ll need to have the right squad for it with players who can come in at any given time and do the job.

“It will demand a lot of the boys, both physically and mentally, but I’m pretty sure we have strong characters here and they will pull through.

“Can we come straight back up? With the squad and the players, and with a few new additions, plus what I know of the league and the teams that are there, I really do believe we can come straight back up again.

“It can be done. We’ve had the chat already about how many games you can play in League One. If you want to do well there you need a squad that’s big enough and experienced enough.”

When asked if it would be possible to do so with the emphasis on passing football, a philosophy that manager Paul Lambert is keen to embrace, Nsiala added: “Yes, 100 per cent you can. But you need to have the right blend and be physical enough when you come up against those teams who are more physical in their approach.

“You can’t do it by just playing football. Last season at Shrewsbury we played against teams like Charlton, who played really good football, and they were near the top. They’re up there again this season by doing the same things.”

Nsiala admitted it had been difficult preparing for the last four games of the season after relegation was confirmed with the 1-1 home draw against Birmingham.

Since then Town have lost three games without scoring and on Sunday bring down the curtain on a miserable season with the visit of promotion-chasing Leeds to Portman Road.

He said: “It has been really hard since we knew we were definitely going down. But as professional players we have had to find ways of getting ourselves prepared for the games and I think we have done that quite well.

“It’s been hard because we know we’re relegated no matter what happens, but at the same time we are pros and we need to be professional about it.

“We want to win every game, or at least take something from them, and it was the same in our last three after being relegated.

“Our aim was to get off the bottom of the table, obviously, and it hasn’t happened, but if we could beat Leeds it would mean heading into next season on a bit of a high.

“It might not mean a lot now but we need to find a way of winning games and to beat Leeds would be great for us.”

It has been a difficult first season in England’s second tier for Nsiala, who joined in August last year when he followed Paul Hurst from Shrewsbury. With the team struggling, Hurst lost his job after 14 games and replacement Paul Lambert has only achieved three wins from his 31 games in charge.

But Nsiala takes a realistic view of the situation, adding: “It hasn’t been easy but it’s just part of life, isn’t it? You don’t expect these things to happen and you’ve got to adjust as quickly as possible.

“But it has been tough, both in the sense of where the club is at the moment and that from a personal point of view I’ve been part of it. You’ve just got to find yourself, pick yourself up and carry on to go again.

“It’s ruthless in the Championship, more so than in League One. There’s not a lot of difference between the teams but one mistake and bang, you’re punished.

“That’s what we’ve struggled with all season, plus we’ve not scored enough goals and conceded a lot.”

Nsiala admitted it was frustrating that he has been denied the chance to develop as a Championship player. “You never know what the future holds really,” he said. “We could start well next season and go on to get another bite of the cherry and be back playing in the Championship next year. We just need to put everything into it and see where it takes us.”

Meanwhile, the player born in Kinshasa and capped once by the Democratic Republic of Congo, says he has adapted to life in Suffolk.

“There’s not much to do but I have settled in well,” he explained. “It’s a lovely place to raise a family and it’s not too far from London. There have been times when I’ve ended up in Unit 17, which is never going to happen again.

“Overall I’m enjoying my time here. It’s not as cold or wet as Liverpool and the lads are a really good bunch.

“We’ve bonded a lot recently with barbecues at each other’s houses and stuff like that. We had a real togetherness at Shrewsbury and we’ve got the same here. That’s why I’m saying it is probably going to be a great season for us next year.”

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pennblue added 17:21 - May 3
Woo hoo!! No more international break!!!

therein61 added 17:24 - May 3
A good insight to our new life from someone who knows the division god help some of our overpaid carthorses who will not last the relentless flow of games.

positivity added 17:44 - May 3
will we still have an international break if we have 3 or more players away as it used to be in the championship?

marco007 added 18:05 - May 3
I have seen absolutely nothing this season to suggest that we'll take Div 1 by storm 🤔 Where does the confidence come from? We can't defend and our best defenders have been loanees, our midfield is awful and Trev is leaving and we have no goals up front.
Our youngsters have been consistently inconsistent and we have little experience in this league or a manager that understands the requirements.
Heading for a long painful struggle 😥

ghostofescobar added 18:52 - May 3
Whats a "Unit 17"??

Walk_the_Wark added 22:09 - May 3
Who's going to score the goals Toto?

ronnyblue added 22:56 - May 3
With him and his Hurst signings in the side we can look forward to league 2! The slide will not be stopped that easily.

Tractorboy1985 added 07:33 - May 4
@ghostofescobar... it’s a nightclub In Ipswich... say no more! Been relegated and he’s joking about going to pubs and clubs! Liability.. donkey.. another Drissa!

Edmundo added 09:27 - May 4
Reminds me a bit of Manuel Thetis - a solid player but his tackles can be instant red card if mistimed!

WeWereZombies added 07:43 - May 5
Ghost of Escobar and tractorboy - Unit 17 is a sports psychology course - Toto talks about it in the other segment of the interview that Phil posted up

ipswich134 added 07:52 - May 5
You can’t fault a player who was in Div 1 late season, he knows the div better then most. We have many players who have played in that Div, so it’s not like they don’t know want to expect.

Tractor_Boy_in_HK added 09:33 - May 5
@WeWereZombies He's clearly talking about the nightclub. His previous sentence is about how there's nothing to do in the city. Would be quite the confidence if the psychology course shares the same name as the nightclub.

WeWereZombies added 11:23 - May 5

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