Garbutt: Win Gives Us Confidence Ahead of Sunderland
Monday, 5th Aug 2019 06:00
Winning-goalscorer Luke Garbutt believes Saturday’s 1-0 victory at Burton Albion will give the Blues confidence going into next week’s big first home game of the season against League One favourites Sunderland at Portman Road.
Garbutt’s deflected strike in the 11th minute gave the Everton loanee the first debut goal of his career and saw Town to victory in their first third tier game for 62 years.
The 26-year-old believes it was important to get a win on the board at the first time of asking.
“It gives us massive confidence that we can push on from this position of getting three points on the board,” he said.
“Our home fans will push us on again and we’ve got to start on the front foot like we did today and I’m fully confident that we can get a result on Saturday.”
Garbutt feels the Blues have what it takes to be contenders towards the top of the division this season: “If we work hard and do the basics well, we've got more than enough going forward to be a threat in this league.
“Taking care of the basics and doing the defensive duties well, I believe that we’re going to get more positive results than negative.”
However, he says it’s important not to get too carried away with one positive result: “Of course, we’ve just got to take care of what we can take care of and today was a case of getting the three points and moving on to Sunderland.
“We’ve just got to take it game by game and try and perform to the levels we know we can and if we do that then I believe we’ll win more games than most people in this division.”
Garbutt played in League One with Oxford United last season and therefore is in a position to know what the division holds in store.
“Last season the league had a few big teams and again this season there are a few big hitters in the league, so I think it’s going to be tight at the top," he added.
“The standard of football towards the top end of the division is going to be good, I think. But, like I said, we’ve just got to take care of what we can take care of, which is winning our games, not focusing on any other sides really, and I’m sure we’ll get more positive results than negative results.”
He added: “When you come away from home it’s not all going to go your way, so sticking together as a team and making sure you’re a solid defensive unit is going to be massive.
“And then getting those counter-attacks and that quality moving forward and making sure that we finish the chances we create is a massive part of the game.”
He says he's excited by the season both personally and from a team angle: “It’s a great club, it’s a big club. If we perform right and win games, the following’s going to be there.
“The attendances at home will be up there as well and we’ll get backed. That’ll push the club forward and hopefully we’ll finish in a place where we believe we should be.”
Garbutt believes the Blues have plenty of options, something illustrated by Alan Judge and Emyr Huws, probably two of the best players in the division, coming off the bench in the second half as they continue their comebacks from injury.
“We’ve got great strength in depth, especially going forward,” he reflected. “We’ve got a couple of centre-halves that are coming back in, obviously the skipper’s coming back next week, Toto’s probably not far off, so the squad is as probably as good as good as it gets in this division, I believe.
“So, we just keep moving forward, we keep training hard and we keep that mentality of trying to win every game.”
Garbutt was impressed by Town’s away following at the Pirelli Stadium: “It was brilliant, really, really loud, backed the lads 100 per cent. It felt like a home game and that pushed us forward and made us get a positive result.”
Regarding his goal, he insisted it was on its way into the net before it caught either team-mate Danny Rowe or a Burton defender, with video evidence suggesting the latter.
“I’m not sure [who it hit], it doesn’t really matter,” he said. “I got a good connection on it, I feel as though it was probably going in the bottom corner anyway even if someone hadn’t got a deflection on it.
“But I’m pleased to contribute to the team and moving forward I want to get more goals and more assists.”
He was happy with his display over the 90 minutes: “There was one cross at the end there [that was wayward] but overall I’m pleased with my performance and it’s something that I can build on and each game get more and more match fit. I’d like to think I’d be more and more of a force within the team.”
Having been primarily a left-back for most of his career, Garbutt moved forward to left midfield when at Oxford last season and has been given that role with Town in pre-season and on Saturday against the Brewers.
“I think most of the time I’ll probably be operating at left midfield but also I can play left-back as well,” he said when asked where he expects to play for the Blues.
“Wherever the gaffer puts me I’ll give my all for the team and make sure I contribute and do well.”
The Harrogate-born full-back or midfielder says his spell with Town is a good opportunity for him with his Everton contract up next summer.
“It’s a great platform for me to perform and show what I can do,” he continued.
“It’s a big club in this league, we're obviously looking to be at the top end of the league and moving forward, I think the focus is to play well and hopefully it’ll be a successful year.”
He admits he expects his future to be away from Goodison Park, having joined the Toffeemen from Leeds as a 16-year-old for an initial fee of £600,000.
“With a year left on my contract and I’m out on loan again, it's probably going to be away from Everton but I’m just focusing on the here and now and performing well for Ipswich,” he said.
Previously, the former England U16, U17, U18, U19, U20 and U21 international has spent time on loan at Cheltenham, Colchester, Fulham and Wigan in addition to his stint at Oxford last season and says some have been better than others.
“It’s been interesting, I’ve learnt a lot,” he considered. “Not all of them have been good loans, but all in all I’ve picked up a lot of experience.
"I’ve learnt a lot and moving forward hopefully I can take those experiences into this year and have a really positive year.”
Having moved forward into midfield and after scoring on his debut, there’s likely to be the expectation that he’ll notch a few more over the course of the season, however, he says manager Paul Lambert hasn’t given him a target.
“We haven’t discussed that type of aim,” he said. “But I base myself on being productive in the team, whether it be assists or goals, so moving forward I know the ability I possess.
"So if I can stay in the team and get a run of games then I’m confident I can pitch in with a fair few goals and assists.”
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