Wilson Targeting Cup Run and Maybe Even Wembley Appearance
Monday, 9th Dec 2019 15:35
Defender James Wilson would love to sample a decent run in a cup competition and isn’t even ruling out the possibility of a Wembley appearance with Town this season.
The experienced Wilson, who initially arrived at Portman Road on trial in the summer and was later awarded a deal through to the end of the year, has so far missed out on a glamorous cup experience in a career that has so far seen him serve eight different clubs.
A free agent after leaving Lincoln by mutual consent in June, the 30-year-old has since had his Town deal extended by a further 18 months that will keep him at the club until the end of the 2020/21 campaign.
Wilson looks like being a certain starter for tomorrow night’s FA Cup third round replay against Coventry, which will be the third time in 10 days that the clubs have locked horns after the initial tie at St Andrew’s, the Sky Blues’ temporary home, and Saturday’s league visit to the same venue, both of which ended in 1-1 draws.
“I’ve never got to play against a big team in the FA Cup,” said Wilson, “so I’d love to get through, win again and then get a draw against one of the big boys.
"I missed out when I was at Oldham – we got drawn against Liverpool and I missed the game – so I’d love to get that type of draw if possible.
“If we get past Coventry it’s either Bristol Rovers or Plymouth away in the third round and that’s a great opportunity for us to reach round four.
“We want to win. It doesn’t matter what you’re thinking beforehand, once you are out there the only thing on your mind is to win the game.
“It doesn’t matter what competition it is and that will be our attitude tomorrow.”
Regardless of the outcome against Mark Robins’s side tomorrow Wilson is only too aware that the other knockout competition in which Town are still involved this season, the Leasing.com Trophy, presents another – and far more viable opportunity – to play at England’s national stadium for the very first time.
He added: “I haven’t played at Wembley and would love the chance and that probably goes for all the lads who are in the same boat.
“I was with Lincoln two seasons ago when they got there and won it but I was cup-tied as I’d already played for Walsall that season in the same competition.
“I went along and it was an amazing experience for all the boys, so it would be brilliant if we could go all the way.
“We’ve been drawn against Exeter away – maybe not ideal from the travelling point of view but we’re looking to win it and stay in the competition.
“We’re only three wins from Wembley so it’s doable, 100 per cent, and that’s what we want to do.”
Wilson & Co have already clocked up thousands of miles on their travels this season and further success in tomorrow will see them head for the West Country twice in the space of four days, which will inevitably see manager Paul Lambert extend a rotation policy that has seen him call on 36 players for first-team duty this season.
But Wilson has no problem with the system, adding: “It’s such a long season with the extra cup competition at this level and the group games at the start.
“I think the squad rotation helps everybody. If you want to have a successful season you’ve got to play 60 games so I think it’s essential to have the rotation policy.
“The more games you play, the more your style of play comes out and you can really hone the way you play.
“With the rotation policy there won’t be players having to play 60 games, so it’s helpful there as well, and I have to say I’ve really enjoyed the games where the younger lads have come into the side.
“We played Tottenham’s U21s first of all in the Leasing.com Trophy then Gillingham and Colchester, and I really enjoyed them.
“I didn’t play at Peterborough last week but apparently the boys did really well and it’s the perfect opportunity to give the youngsters a chance. It’s a proper game so it’s useful experience for them.”
Having joined Bury Town on loan, teenage defender Alex Henderson made his debut for them in English football’s eighth tier and then received the call to return to Town in order to make his senior debut at London Road, where the outcome was decided with a penalty shootout in which Barry Cotter struck the decisive spotkick.
Henderson then returned to Bury and played for them at the weekend, but Wilson continued: “The experience he gained in playing at Peterborough can only help him as a young player.”
Meanwhile, Wilson has reiterated his delight at signing a new contract to extend his stay with Town. “I was really happy to be offered and sign a new contract,” he said.
“I can settle down a bit here now, which is a nice feeling. I was only on a deal through to the end of this year and it wasn’t as if it was playing on my mind. I was just enjoying my football.
“But I’m a lot happier now, looking forward to the next six months and hopefully another year and a half at the club.
“So far it has gone really well for me and I’m looking forward to the next win, hopefully tomorrow night against Coventry.
“When I came here on trial back in the summer I hadn’t been anywhere else. I had a few opportunities but it was stuff that didn’t quite feel right.
“I was excited to get the chance to come to Ipswich and I wanted to be involved and help to make a difference. It has all worked out well.”
But should tomorrow night’s replay require a penalty shootout to decide the outcome, don’t bank on Wilson being put on the spot. Asked if he would be among the volunteers, he laughed: “I’ll take the 11th one, no problem!”
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