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Judge: I'm Not Going to Kid Myself, I've Been Shit But Rochdale Felt More Like My Old Self
Wednesday, 6th Nov 2019 10:26

Blues midfielder Alan Judge says he was feeling more like his old self during last night’s 1-0 victory at Rochdale, condemning his form earlier this season as “shit”.

“The important thing for me was that I kind of felt like I was a little bit back to my normal self today,” the Irishman said in a frank and open post-match chat with reporters following last night's match.

“It’s been a tough one since the summer, for many reasons and I’m not going to kid myself, I’ve been shit, I haven’t been my usual self.

“But there are reasons for that and I spoke to the manager and we’re getting along with that. Missing pre-season I think was a major factor for me and I think maybe tonight I’ve seen that maybe a fully fit me is finally getting there.

“Confidence is the most important thing in football. It’s the easiest thing to lose, but it’s the hardest thing to gain, and I’m gradually getting mine bit by bit. I enjoyed tonight, I don’t mind that at all.”

Speaking earlier in the season, the 30-year-old admitted that the summer interest from QPR and his daughter Emily requiring two operations were on his mind over the summer.

Thoughts of leaving Portman Road are now well in the past and life away from football is happier: “Family’s settled, daughter had her first operation, waiting for the next one to come. The family love it in Ipswich, so it’s just about me to get my football going now, which I will. I’m pretty confident I will.

“What we’ve seen of me this year isn't the real me but I’m feeling maybe the last two games, a little bit against Southend and maybe tonight, is more me.”

Does the rotation policy have a negative effect on him as he looks to get back to form? “The thing is I haven’t been playing well enough to keep myself in the team, so I can’t really argue at the minute.

“People say I want to play centre midfield, I want to play off the front, I just want to play football, but I know I have to play well and I haven’t played to the standards I set myself last year.

“But I think I’d rather be going through my little dip now than come the end of the season when it comes to the most important part. I feel like I will hopefully get better and better the more games I get and I think the gaffer knows that.

“I think when I first came here last year it took me four or five games to get going and if I get those four or five games I’ll get to what I was last year.”

The former Brentford man says manager Paul Lambert has kept faith in him.

“I spoke to the gaffer two weeks ago, we had a good talk," he continued. "I let him know where I was. I knew I needed a bit more training, I’ve been doing extra, didn’t play the few games before because I’ve just been trying to get my fitness up to where I feel like I need to and games will get me better.

“I’m one of those players who needs to play, but I know at the moment the gaffer’s doing a rotation and I have to play well when I come in. As I said, excuse the language, I’ve been shit, but I know I can get better.”

Internationally, Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy has also kept faith in him despite his difficult start to the campaign with the squad for the November internationals, including the crucial Euro 2020 qualifier with Denmark, set to be confirmed later this week.

“Well, I hope so, the squad hasn’t been named yet, I’ll find out come Thursday! Provisionally I was in,” he added.

“I think the thing for Mick, every time I’ve played for Mick I’ve played well and I think Mick has been loyal, hopefully I’m in the squad come Thursday. I don’t think I’ve let Mick down when I’ve played for him, and hopefully long may that continue.”

Judge sounded re-energised by his performance at Spotland and admits he’s excited about what lies ahead for him: “Yes, because I feel I’m getting it behind me. I know the fans, I might be the easy the one to look at because of what happened in the summer, and I understand that. When [fans] see other clubs coming in for players they probably think they want to go.

“But I’m genuinely 100 per cent committed here, I want to be playing and that’s the main thing. I had long enough not playing.

“If I started getting happy sitting on the bench I might as well retire. So, that’s the drive I have, I’ve missed long enough not playing and the gaffer knows that, but I know I have to perform. It’s down to me now, that’s the main thing.”

Photo: Pagepix

Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.

Colin_Viljoen added 09:17 - Nov 6
Interesting to see Judge come back on the pitch at Southend with a trainer & doing sprints etc. Must think he still needs more training to sharpen up!

wkj added 09:27 - Nov 6
In this photo Judge looks like he's slowly taking on the physical form of Brett Pitman.

N2_Blue added 09:39 - Nov 6
Think there is a lot of unfair comment on Judge.
It's clear he's not been at his best, and he has way more ability than we have seen, but he has openly admitted he's struggled for form and it seems there are quite valid reasons for this.

Obviously personal problems and missing pre-season have had an impact but the biggest thing he has mentioned is he has clearly lost a bit of confidence because of the way he has been playing.

I play football regularly, not to any great standard, but after a fairly long absence this year, I just seemingly cannot play to the same level as before....I keep beating myself up about it and it's all completely down to confidence. I'm the same player, same legs but timing has gone when I shoot, crosses over or underhit, constantly feel pressure on the ball even when i have time. Now i'm finally slowly getting confidence back as things i do come off, but what i thought may take a few games has taken me over 3 months. This is the first time I've really appreciated the impact confidence has on a player and the absolute hollow feeling of desperation, and letting team mates down when you seemingly can't play to the standard that you were before.

We really should get behind the guy if the manager seems fit to select him and not knock him as I imagine that is only going to make the situation 10 times worse for AJ. If the manager thinks form and mindset of AJ is not good enough then he won't select him but he's obviously seeing enough in training to see him as a starter. Let's support the guy as we are more to see the player we want to that criticizing him online. I really hope he doesn't read these threads as it won't help his confidence.

BlockJJ added 09:43 - Nov 6
You were Sh!t in this match as well mate!

DurhamTownFan added 10:10 - Nov 6
N2: I wish my amateur team mates had as much patience as yours! You make a good point though. Football is very competitive and a lot about being a big man and showing what you can do. Actually, different players respond in different ways and some need a lot more love than others.

The potential summer move lost judge a lot of love from supporters but clearly he’s staying now. I hope he improves, as he could’ve a real player if it clicks

blues1 added 10:10 - Nov 6
Block. Clearly you were not at the game last night, or you just someone who wants to slag a player off for the sake of it. Judge, as also Gwion Edward's, was far better last night. And I've been one of both those players biggest critics so far this season. Actually said 2 weeks ago is never play either of them(nor dozzell) ever again, tho happy to see them prove me wrong. Well 2 of them have managed, last night, to show me they do have a part to play for us. Just hope dozzell can do the same now.

ESSEX75 added 10:10 - Nov 6
Glad to see abit of honesty stick with it and your form will return.

dukey44 added 10:34 - Nov 6
He had a much better second half but confidence is a major part of all our lives. But what ever any of you say he certainly has been s.. E as he agreed himself. Personally he gets a goal and his confidence will come back and at just the right time for us.. Rowe was wondering lots in first half their number 13 was having a great first half until he came up against judge in second half..

TimmyH added 10:40 - Nov 6
Good to see he's being honest and frankly he has been generally been poor as for the personal problems don't we all have them from time to time in life and have to cope as best we can and try not to let it effect us at work - I know I have and my father did as well.

GeoffSentence added 11:31 - Nov 6
Filth. I nearly kicked my screen in.

MJR101 added 11:52 - Nov 6
Voted Blockjj up in error. Take a look at the comment above you mate.

dirtydingusmagee added 11:55 - Nov 6
good that he can hold his hand up and admit he hasnt been performing well, At least he realises he needs to up his game .Credit to him .

Steve_ITFC_Sweden added 11:58 - Nov 6
Can't understand the negativity towards Judge. Clearly, he's been through a rough period, and his explanation here seems very genuine. I respect him for that. Footballers are also people, after all; and at our level, there are few of the divas you encounter in the PL or in top European football. The more we support Judge, the more likely he is to respond: in both parties' interest, surely?

big_gaz67 added 12:16 - Nov 6
Is there really a need to report this word for word - bad enough a grown man can't articulate a point without the need to swear but to report 'no-news' story in it's current state is disappointing. My 11 year old visits this website and doesn't need to read this....

DifferentGravy added 12:29 - Nov 6
Its obviously been a very difficult time for Judge with his daughter being unwell. Its frustrating for all concerned when a player is below par. But if a player is available for selection then i feel fans/bloggers are entitled to comment on the players performances.

As a generic statement - its unacceptable when (constructive) criticism becomes personal. Sometimes footballers dont help themselves by being publicly outspoken about all and sundry and should, perhaps, just get on with the task in hand.....playing football. I dont recall Dennis Irwin, a top class international full back, gracing the back pages of tabloids with his public outcries.

Back to Judge - I thought he was very average first half, as were the whole team. However, his performance improved(he looked hungrier) in the second half and I think generally we looked more balanced when he and Rowe switched. I feel his position is very much on the right side of midfield as opposed to anywhere else.

SouperJim added 12:31 - Nov 6
Hullo Phil's swear filter is broken, flouncing to commence in 3...2...1...

itsonlyme added 12:38 - Nov 6
We all know he hasn't played at his best but he seems to be genuine in this piece and hopefully we will soon see the player who used to terrorise defences.

Terry_Nutkins added 12:57 - Nov 6
Class is permanent and Judge has been a class player throughout his career. You have 2-3 bad games here and suddenly you are a waste of space. He wasnt helped by the summer stuff, but he's had difficult tines with his daughter. I tell you what would help him, a bit if support.

Block - i can only assume you are real high flyer. Brilliant at football, high achiever in your career and consistently the number one performer. Well done. If only Judge could have lived up to your expectations and achievements. You are a real super fan!

factual_blue added 13:07 - Nov 6
I'm appalled Phil has used such foul language on TWTD, even in the form of reported speech.

barrystedmunds added 13:12 - Nov 6
“Bad language or libellous content” !!!! Now now Mr Judge!!!

runningout added 13:23 - Nov 6
Everyone should keep improving and never be content.

BurleysGloryDays added 13:35 - Nov 6
Keep Going Judgey, we're all behind you mate and all rooting for you

tempzzzz added 14:01 - Nov 6
Oh chill out people, it's 1 little swear word. Who gives a sh*t?

Guessing you don't sit in the lower North?

tempzzzz added 14:02 - Nov 6
Ironically couldn't post the actual word as it contained offensive language! HA!

PositivelyPortman added 14:18 - Nov 6

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