Holy: I Don't Think of It Like a Job
Sunday, 22nd Sep 2019 18:06
Tomas Holy said he doesn’t think of playing in goal for Town as a job, but as something enjoyable after a successful return to his old club Gillingham where the Blues won 1-0, equalled a club record fifth successive league clean sheet and returned to the top of the table.
Holy, 27, joined Town in the summer having left the Gills at the end of last season but says any friendships from his time at the Priestfield Stadium were put on hold during Saturday's match.
“That’s the football life,” the 6ft 9in tall keeper said. “I was 100 per cent focused on our play.
“We can be friends after the game but during the 90 minutes on the pitch, I had just one target - to win this game. Unfortunately it was against Gillingham but, like I said, that’s the football life.”
Was he more nervous because the game was against the Gills? “I think it’s the same because during the 90 minutes I’m focused on our play, on our football and it was a tough game against a decent side as well.
“It was like every game a tough one but we handled it, we did really, really well. We handled their big guys, they played a lot of long balls, so it was a seriously tough game but I’m very, very thankful we made it.”
The win, Town’s fourth on their travels this season, took the Blues back to the top having recorded 21 points from their first nine matches.
“That’s the most positive thing, I think,” the Czech-born keeper reflected. “It’s our plan and now we will do our best to stay there as long as possible, in the best case to the end of the season.”
Holy, quickly establishing himself as a fans' favourite at Portman Road, has no problem with the pressure that being the team at the top there to be shot at brings.
“I think some of the pressure is not a bad thing because we must be responsible to our plan,” he said.
“We must be responsible to our fans, to Ipswich Town and, especially for me, it’s a different pressure but I like it, I think that pressure makes us better and better and makes us more focused on what we do. So, it’s a pressure, there’s more expectation but I think we can handle it.”
The former Sparta Prague youngster is confident that the Blues have what it takes to stay at the top.
“I think we can and it’s going to be our target, our plan to stay on the top of the league,” he said.
“That’s what we want but it will be really tough because every single team will want to beat us, show their best, so it will be tough to stay there but we will do everything to do it.”
Holy's clean sheet at Gillingham was Town’s fifth in a row in the league which equalled a club record last achieved in March and April 2013. A sixth next week at home to Tranmere would set a new club best, something the Blues keeper wasn’t aware of.
“I didn’t know that information,” he said. “It isn’t my exact target to beat a record at Ipswich, but if I do or if we do it’s going to be something special.
“But every single clean sheet, every single game [is special] but, like I said, anything can happen in football and we will do again our best to keep a clean sheet next game as well.
“And if it’s going to be a record breaker, it will be something special, but it’s not like it’s my target that we have to break this record.”
He added: “Basically, it’s a ‘mind job’. Every single game, [assistant boss] Stuart Taylor or the gaffer tells me, ‘Keep a clean sheet’ so I listen to them, and that’s what I do.
“I have to be very thankful because in football anything can happen, so I’m very thankful for every single clean sheet and this is another on the board and I’m very pleased with this clean sheet, same as any other clean sheet.”
He says he managed six clean sheets in a row before earlier in his career: “I think I had six clean sheets in a row but it was in the second league in the Czech Republic.
“It’s my personal target [to keep a clean sheet each match] and I appreciate every single clean sheet. Every single one is very tough and if they are in a row it’s something special, so I will do my best and the boys will do their best as well to keep a clean sheet next Saturday as well.”
Holy had praise for the defenders in front of him who have remained resolute regardless of system or personnel changes.
“As every game, they made many blocks,” he continued. “The boys in front of me make it quite easy for me, so it’s not like it’s just my clean sheet, it’s a clean sheet for everyone.
“Everyone in defence did really, really well, so it’s not only because of me, it’s because of all the boys on the pitch. If we play three or four at the back that’s the gaffer’s decision, his tactics.”
Does he feel he’s currently in his best form? “I don’t know, you tell me! I feel really well at Ipswich. I enjoy the football. I don’t think of it as like a job, I think of it as something enjoyable and, like I said, I like the pressure and I’m happy to be part of something successful, part of something which has a plan.
“And I think it’s the first time for me because all my career I have played for being safe in the league, now it’s probably the first time I’m playing for promotion.
“That’s a different feeling and I enjoy it, I like it. Football at Ipswich is very enjoyable, so that’s what I do.”
Holy says the Town fans, with more than 2,500 at Gillingham, are more than playing their part.
“I’m going to be honest, I spent two and a half years at Gillingham and this is the second time I’ve seen this stand full and they are crazy!” he laughed.
“Seriously, I love them, the crowd, I love their support and I want be really thank them because this is a massive part of our success.”
Looking back at his summer move, he says he always intended to stay in England and felt that Town was the best of the alternatives available to him.
“I definitely wanted to stay in England,” he said. “There wasn’t a chance to go abroad but I had a few options where to go and Ipswich I think was the best of them, regarding ambition, chances to play, the size of the club.
“Basically everything played to my cards and I hope and I believe I decided on the best option I had.”
While everything is going well at the moment, Holy is conscious that on-loan Wolves man Will Norris - who so far has made only two cup appearances for the Blues - is waiting in the wings to step in should his form drop.
“He wants to play, he’s been waiting for his chance and he makes me focused much more than I was focused before and I have to be ready for everything,” he said. “I have to be focused on what I do.
“He’s a great guy, I like him, but honestly I don't want to give him any reason to get on the pitch! No, with all respect, you know what I mean.
“There is just one spot in the goal and I will do everything fair to stay on the pitch in the goal.
“But, like I said, anything can happen in football, for example injuries, and if he comes on then I don’t worry at all, he will do the same job as me.”
Top scorer James Norwood said last week that Holy is a “confidence killer” for the strikers in training.
“I’m not sure if I’m a confidence killer. He has to hit the target sometimes, you know!” Holy joked. “No, that’s my job, to be a confidence killer, the strikers’ confidence killer.
“But, honestly, I said before the season at the Germany camp, I think I am so happy he’s on my side because he’s a very dangerous striker, I’m glad to have him on my team.
“I’m glad to have him on my side because when I see him at games against defenders, I would be struggling against him.”
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