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Wilson Looking Forward to FA Cup Reunion
Friday, 25th Oct 2019 13:36

James Wilson took a special interest in this week’s FA Cup first round draw that paired Town with his former club Lincoln City, the tie to take place at Portman Road on November 9th representing the club’s first action at this stage of the famous competition since victory over Hastings United in 1956.

Team-mates Danny Rowe and Jordan Roberts both had loan spells at Sincil Bank but Wilson spent 18 months there until departing at the end of last season, although he only managed to clock up 26 first-team appearances, scoring twice, as the Imps carried on their spectacular success under boss Danny Cowley and brother Nicky, his assistant.

The pair have since departed for Championship strugglers Huddersfield and Wilson said: “Yes, it was an interesting draw, although there are a couple of people who have left that I wanted to play against.

"It will be interesting because I know a lot of the boys there and they are good lads. It will be a tough game for us.

“I haven’t heard from any of the Lincoln boys since the draw was made – it’s all gone a bit quiet – but I’m sure we will be in touch before the game comes round.

“I suppose I’ve got a point to prove. But not just to them. I’ve also got a point to prove to myself, I guess, so that’s what it’s about.

“To be honest last season was obviously a really good one for the club, with winning promotion to League One.

“I didn’t play anywhere near as many games as I wanted to, for different reasons, but I was happy to be involved with something like that, although personally it was a frustrating year.

Asked if he couldn’t have dreamt he would end up joining a bigger club in Ipswich, the defender added: “No, exactly. When the opportunity came about it was the only thing that I wanted to try to do.

“Things happen like that in football and you’ve just got to take the chance when it comes along.

“I didn’t have any other trials in the summer, only here at Ipswich. I kept myself fit and I wanted to wait until there was something on offer that genuinely excited me.

“As soon as I heard from Ipswich I was buzzing and wanted to give it my very best shot.

“I’d been on trial before but that was on the back of playing a full season, which was slightly different. When I came in it was a very welcoming atmosphere and all the boys were great, which helped me to settle in quickly, so it was fine straight away.

“It wasn’t just injuries that held me back last season. I did get injured at one point, which didn’t help, but there were other things too.

“It was other people’s form that contributed to me not getting into the team. They were playing really well and that’s all I really want to say about it.

“I actually had another year on my contract at Lincoln but I agreed to leave because, well, for various reasons. I wasn’t worried and I was looking forward to a new challenge, basically.

Asked about his relationship with the Cowley brothers, he continued: “Everyone has different experiences with different managers but I didn’t get on with their way of dealing with people. It was a tough 18 months for me while I was there but they have done great.

“The way they’ve gone about things, from lower league to now, is incredible. I left Sheffield United in January last year and they took me to Lincoln.

“They seem to have done well wherever they’ve been and good luck to them. I can see them doing well again at Huddersfield.”

Wilson acknowledged the part that another ex-Lincoln man, Town goalkeeper coach Jimmy Walker, played in his move to Portman Road, initially on trial in the summer. After signing a short-term deal through to the end of the year, he this week agreed a new 18-month deal to stay until at least the summer of 2021.

He said: “I think the Ipswich interest maybe came about thanks to Jimmy. I think maybe they said I was available and he said he knew a centre-back. He was at Lincoln two seasons ago and we had half a season together.

“I always got on well with Jimmy – he’s a good guy and a really good coach – so that’s where it came from.”

Wilson played 10 games for Sheffield United in the 2016/17 season that saw the Blades promoted to the Championship, a feat he hopes to repeat with Town in the current campaign.

“That was a great year at a great club,” he recalled. “I really enjoyed myself there, although I was out for about four months with injury that season, but it was still one of the best seasons of my career. Looking back, I still see it as a big positive for me.

“There’s a similar mood here to what there was at Bramall Lane that season – a big club, excited fans, expectancy from the crowd and players looking forward to going out and performing for them. I’m really looking forward to it.

“I believe I still have a lot of football left in me. I’ll be 31 at the start of next year but I still feel really good and I’m looking to carry on playing for as long as I can.

“There’s plenty of competition for places here at Ipswich and we have a strong defensive line, which is only going to help us. We have competition all over the pitch, which is what we need if we’re going to get to where we want to go.

“It doesn’t matter to me what system we play. I’ve played in a back three quite a lot during my career so it doesn’t really bother me.

“I quite enjoy playing it, same as I do when I’m one of two central defenders, so I really don’t mind what formation we adopt on any given day.”

One other target for Wilson is to regain his place in the Welsh squad managed by Ryan Giggs. He represented his country at both U19 and U21 levels but earned just the one senior cap, in a 1-1 draw with Belgium six years ago, and is open to the idea of adding further honours.

“I’ve just the one single Wales cap so far but it’s a big honour for me,” he added. “I’m still ambitious – that’s always the case – but I don’t know if it’s realistic any more.

“Hopefully if I play as many games as I can I might get my chance again. I think every player Welsh player if they’re playing well in League One they’ll have a chance.

“There are a few Welsh lads here, which is nice, and if lads like Gwion [Edwards] and Ems [Emyr Huws] are playing regularly they could have a chance.

“Being in the Championship can only improve our chances. We have a few big players but most of the boys in the Welsh squad are playing in the Championship so if you’re playing there you definitely have a chance.”

Photo: TWTD

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