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Judge: I'm Happier and a Lot More Settled
Friday, 10th Jan 2020 14:31

Town may be struggling right now in terms of recent results but midfielder Alan Judge is at least a lot more pleased with his own form.

Judge, who has had to contend with family health issues over the past few months, said: “I’m happier and a lot more settled. I’ve had a good few months here, instead of going back and forth for internationals. The family are settled – my daughter had her first operation and is now waiting for her second one – so it’s all good.”

Judge, the subject of transfer interest from QPR in the summer transfer window, has only started 11 of the side’s 23 league games and been involved in a further eight as a substitute, but he added: “I played in a central role against Wycombe and to be honest with you I kind of just let it be. I had to wait for my chance to play in that position.

“The manager prefers me out on the wing at the moment and I’ve no problem with that. When I’m playing I’m happy, but obviously I do prefer the number 10 role. As long as I’m playing, though, I don’t really mind.

“If I could choose a position it would be number 10. I like to be in and around the centre of the pitch, but obviously the manager sees something in me playing on the left and coming inside, which he likes and which I’ve done for most of my time here. Number 10 is probably my preferred position but it’s all about playing really.”

Judge is frustrated that he has yet to claim his first league goal for the club in 38 appearances dating back to January last year, when he arrived for a nominal fee from Brentford. “But, as you will have seen, I’ve hit the post a number of times,” he said.

“I had chances last week when I should have scored at least one. I’ve just got to keep plugging away and keep going. I nearly scored with a header at Wycombe, which wouldn’t have been as rare as you might think. I’ve had a few in my time, which may surprise people.

“I feel I’m closer to the goal at number 10 and I felt that against Wycombe I was up and around the goal more. I got myself into a few better positions, so hopefully it won’t be long before I score.”

Despite a run of just one win in their last 15 games in all competitions, Judge is confident Town can soon turn the corner and, hopefully starting with Accrington Stanley’s first-ever visit to Portman Road tomorrow, recapture the early-season form that saw them occupy top spot in League One.

He said: “We’ve got to find a way to win games when teams sit back. It’s down to us and we just have to work out ways around it.

“We just have to stick with the game plan on that day and hopefully we’ll come through. I’m hoping Saturday is when things will start to turn.

“Obviously, last year, we lost a few games and I think we had that fear of ‘We don’t want it to happen this year’. I mean, we were going for it at the start of the season.

“I’m not saying we’re not doing that now but I think, for some reason, we’re going through a blip at this moment in time and all we can do is go to the next game and try to turn it around. We have to keep doing what we believe is right.

“Everybody here wants to go up and we’re still fifth. We’re having a blip now – in December, January time – and I’d rather it was now than towards the end of the season. Hopefully, it’s given us a lot of time to get out of it and get going again.

“I think with the players we have at the club we should go up.  But, ultimately, it’s down to us to perform and at this moment in time we haven’t performed to the standard we want to.

“There’s no doubt, though, that the lads here are trying as hard as they can every day to try to get ourselves back there.”

Judge, meanwhile, is feeling as fresh at this stage of the season as he has done in a long time, adding: “I played the three games over Christmas and I felt really good. In fact, I felt like I was getting stronger, especially towards the end of the Wycombe game.

“My fitness is right up there now, whereas earlier on in the season when I didn’t feel I was playing that well, I didn’t think I was there fitness-wise.
I’ve spoken to the manager and he knew I needed to work on a few things. I’ve done it and I need to keep doing it.

“I’m still not happy where I am at the moment because I always feel I can do a lot more but I want to keep going and get there.”

Photo: Pagepix

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