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Skuse: Frustrated But Not Downcast
Monday, 21st Oct 2019 11:00

Midfielder Cole Skuse says the Town dressing room was frustrated rather than downcast after Sunday’s disappointing 2-0 defeat at Accrington Stanley which ended the Blues’ unbeaten start to their League One campaign and reduced their lead at the top of the table to one point, although with a game in hand on second-placed Wycombe.

“It’s not downcast, it’s frustration because of the manner in which it’s happened,” Skuse said.

“It’s not as if we’ve played really well and just not got the rub of the green, we were poor in the first half especially.

“In the second half we had them penned in but they had something to sit on, they had a two-goal lead. It’s just frustration about the manner in which we’ve done it.”

The Town vice-captain says he was dismayed to have lost the match, let alone the undefeated run.

“Disappointed to lose the game, not just the unbeaten start but to lose any game is a huge blow,” he said.

“But it was what we deserve, I think. We didn’t start the game, we’ve not done things today that we’ve done in the previous 11 games to get us to the top of the league.

“Why was that? You can’t use an excuse that we’ve come to Accrington, we knew full well before the game what we were coming in to, the lads had a bit of taste of it last season when they came here in the FA Cup.

“It’s a tough place to come, we know what they’re about and there’s no excuse. We just didn’t start the game well enough to get ourselves a footing in the game to then play the football we want to play, we just didn’t start the game well enough.”

Town have now gone 21 matches without a win following an international break, but the 33-year-old says the weekend off prior to Sunday’s match oughtn’t to have had an impact.

“I don’t look into things like that, to be honest,” he added. “Granted, we would have liked to have played the game [at home to Wycombe] last week due to having a bit of momentum but I don’t think the break’s been a real hindrance on our performance.

“The lads have been flying all week in training, even in the warm-up before the game you can get a sense of whether we’re bang at it. It was just one of those games where we didn’t start the game well enough.

“And it’s a really tough one to swallow because we’re flying at the top of the league and some results didn’t really go for us yesterday, the gap was closed a little bit - granted we’ve got a game in hand on Wycombe and a couple in hand on some others - and it would have been brilliant to come here on TV to lay down a marker and we haven’t.”

Town were without Flynn Downes, James Norwood and Kane Vincent-Young due to injury and James Wilson as he was suspended but Skuse believes the squad should still have been good enough to beat Stanley.

“They’re quality players to be missing,” he said. “They have made fantastic starts to the season, they’re all top drawer players but when we’ve got the depth that we’ve got you’re looking at replacing them with an international player in Andre Dozzell, who is a fantastic player, we’ve got Gwion Edwards who has come in, Judgey and Kayden up top, it’s a squad full of quality in depth.

“And it’s no individual’s fault today, as a group we just didn’t perform in the first half enough to give ourselves a footing in the game and before you know it we were 2-0 down.

“Granted, I think in the second half it was a goal [when Luke Woolfenden’s effort was blocked], I think it went over the line and if that was given with 20 minutes to go, it’s a completely different ball game.”

Was it worse that it was live on TV? “No, on TV, not on TV, we’re just concentrating on getting out of this league. If it’s on a stage, it’s on a stage, if it’s not, it’s not, we just want to get out of this league.”

Skuse says that while it would have been nice to continue the league unbeaten run for as long as possible, perhaps even for the whole campaign, even the best sides lose on occasion.

“We would have loved to have gone the whole season unbeaten but football’s football, it happens," he reflected.

“It happens to the best of teams. You look at Man City, for them to go unbeaten’s a tough, tough gig and for us to do it would have been really tough. But just the manner in which it’s happened, it’s harder to take.”

The former Bristol City man says there’ll be no overreaction to what was the Blues’ first league defeat since April.

“No, no, no, no. It’s football, it happens to the best of them, he continued. “There’ll be absolutely no panic stations whatsoever, we’ll be dusting ourselves down today and tomorrow and we’ll be going again on Wednesday.”

The Bristolian felt Armando Dobra’s league debut red card for his second-half clash with Accrington defender Ross Sykes was harsh.

“I’m not going to come on here and start digging out officials because it’s a tough gig at any time but it’s not a sending off,” he added.

“I’ve not seen what happened before, I’ve just the lad’s put his arms up to Dobs and throw Dobs to the floor.

“Dobs has come in after the game and said he’s not [done anything to warrant the red card], he’s an honest boy. It’s not a sending off.”

Skuse says the 18-year-old was distraught after the match: “He is because he’s come on and he’s done really well. He had an effect for us, he changed us, I think he turned the game around for us a little bit. And, like I say, he’s a great kid, a very honest boy and he’s a great player.

“So, on TV, to come on and to be sent off unfairly it’s a really tough one for him to swallow. But he’ll bounce back, he’ll be fine.”

Looking ahead, Skuse says it’s good that the Blues quickly get back to action on Wednesday when Rotherham, who are 11th, are at Portman Road.

“It is, we’ve not got a whole week to sit on it,” he said. “And being Wednesday as well against a tough side at home under lights, it’s the sort of game we relish, so we’ll looking to make amends.”

He added: “It is a real test. Obviously we played against them a couple of times last year, we know what they’re about. They’re going to be a good side. It’ll be a really tough one but something we can deal with.”

Meanwhile, the Blues could be up against a familiar face next Saturday when they travel to Southend with ex-defender Hermann Hreidarsson reportedly in line to be named their new assistant manager with Sol Campbell expected to become the Shrimpers’ new boss.

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cat added 11:58 - Oct 21
Yeah agree, frustrating more so than disappointing due mainly to the fact we were away from home and you don’t expect to pick up something every time. No need to single out players, but there’s 3/4 who really need to up their levels. Two more games this week, which I would say are winnable games which should hopefully get us back on track.
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rfretwell added 12:08 - Oct 21
Over liberal use of unwarranted description of our players Scurry. Dozzell "a fantastic player". Dobra a "a great player". The truth is Andre and Judge failed again to show their true ability yesterday. Both have had very serious injuries and perhaps are still being affected mentally.
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Pilgrimblue added 12:23 - Oct 21
Yes very frustrating. Thought that the idea of Jackson and Judge playing in attacking roles didn't work. Jackson was left on his own and was clearly second best with their tall CB. Judge is havin very little impact so far and with his goal scoring record so poor would have thought that Rowe was better bet (at least he tried in 2nd half!).
Not sure what to do with Dozzel as he flits in and out and was guilty of too many poor passes.
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Carberry added 12:24 - Oct 21
Stop talking about Man City, they are on a different planet. We are talking about a group of journeymen pros in League 1.
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LondonTractor added 12:25 - Oct 21
Well beaten yesterday, although Ipswich should have had enough strength in depth to beat Accrington Stanley even with 4 usual starters absents.
Why PL didn't play 4-4-2 I don't know. We had Keane sitting on the bench? Jackson playing off of Keane could have worked wonders. Instead Jackson is chasing shadows up top on his own, with no help.
It is games like these however where a few players show their true colours/go missing... Dozzell, Edwards just not good enough and although I am a fan of Judge's ability, he was also poor yesterday. Nsiala - just a nightmare of a game all round. Again, could have been avoided with a 4-4-2 formation.
Lastly, can someone please tell me what Emyr Hughes has got to do to get into the team??? Arguably one of the best players in our entire squad and he doesn't even get to make an appearance in stripped down team!!????? I had him down as a nailed on starter yesterday. I can only assume that both Keane and Huws are not 100% fit???
Anyway, Stanley thoroughly deserved the victory, better than us and sharper than us all over the park.
Roll on Wednesday when hopefully Norwood, Vincent-Young, Downes and Wilson are all back.
Full faith in PL to return us to winning ways. We need 6 points from the next two games.
Come on you Blues!
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scants_itfc added 13:05 - Oct 21
I don't want to criticise PL as he does a fantastic job this season, but how can he not see that 1 up top doesnt work, it didnt last year and it hasnt the two times weve played it this year. Even with players not at their best yesterday, 4-4-2 probably would have won us the game, with Keane up top with Jackson. Huws should have started instead of Dozzell, who doesnt look up for it at the moment. And I really rate Edwards, but he isnt a RB, so Donacien should have played. AJ needs a goal to kick start his career again. Once he gets one, he will follow up with 2, 3 and 4 quite quickly
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speccybaz added 13:37 - Oct 21
Edwards for Vincent-Young; Nsiala for Wilson; Dozzell for Downes; and Judge for Norwood. Yes, it’s a decent squad - especially for League One, but no real surprise that we were less effective yesterday.
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ArnieM added 13:45 - Oct 21
Take an International 10day “break” when.....
A) you don’t need too, and
B) 99% of your opponents in this division won’t ( because they haven’t got international players of any age group to qualify league game postponements), means you will ALWAYS disrupt the team’s momentum and suffer from “ not being on the front foot, or up for it”, when you play your next competitive game, invariably against an opponent who is out to take our big scalp !

Perhaps Town will/ SHOULD now start to reconsider these ridiculous postponements because it isn’t helping US or bit.
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SamsDad added 15:07 - Oct 21
Arnie - Sorry but totally disagree, absolutely the correct decision to call off even if we lose all the rearranged games and every time after the break.
I’ve said it before, you really wanted to play the team 2nd in the league with all those missing yesterday plus some more?
As for the team selection yesterday I agree it was a bit strange, maybe there’s a reason for it. Norwood and Downes not going to be available Weds either, and Lambert wants Huws and Keane for Rotherham, we know he thinks they can’t do 2 games back to back so opted against them yesterday?
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ArnieM added 16:37 - Oct 21
SamsDad, yes fair doos, I see and agree with your point. Perhaps in this instance he was right to call it off. I’m also not surprised neither Norwood / Downes will be fit for Weds.

However as a principle of maintaining momentum, where possible I would always advocate playing the games.

Some of our so called better players (Judge, Edwards, Dozzell), really aren’t cutting it for me, but this is what our squad contains and so we must go with it. i look forward to Lancaster, Sears being fit again, as both I think would offer more than Edwards/ Judge.
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