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Huws: We Have Real Unity and Direction Now
Wednesday, 15th Jan 2020 11:20

Midfielder Emyr Huws believes the Blues now have “real unity and direction” and are starting to build having come out of their poor run of form. After ending their eight-game League One winless run by thrashing Accrington Stanley 4-1 at Portman Road on Saturday, the Blues drew 0-0 away against fellow promotion chasers Oxford last night in a wind and rain-affected game the Welshman feels they deserved to win.

The 26-year-old thought his team’s display in very trying conditions - the teams were taken off for 15 minutes in the first half to allow the pitch time to improve - was worthy of all three points and like his manager Paul Lambert was frustrated by some of referee Tom Nield’s decisions, not least the failure to award a penalty after James Norwood was fouled inthe box by John Mousinho in the first half.

“I think the team effort and desire and togetherness was positive and that’s why we got a point, but a few refereeing decisions meant we didn’t get the three points,” Huws said.

“I think we were on top in the first half and if we’d have got the decisions and gone [ahead] then it would have been a different game but all things considered I think a point is OK, it’s positive.”

While a draw and a clean sheet away against Oxford, who are fifth, two places and two points behind the Blues with an impressive home record this season, looks a good result, Huws couldn’t hide his disappointment that Town couldn’t take all three points back to Suffolk.

“Yes, we’ve seen them play in other games and they’ve done well in the past but I think we deserved the points today,” he added.

“But a point in these conditions, the pitch in the first half was just a shambles in the middle, slipping everywhere, so it was tricky. And it’s another positive performance considering everything and we’ll take that into Tranmere.”

Reflecting on the first half conditions and the decision to suspend the game for 15 minutes, he said: “I’ve never had that go on for so long, usually the decision is made. I was freezing, and then we were asked to go again, so it was strange, really strange.

“But fair play, the groundsman’s done a little bit of forking and the puddles went a little bit so it was alright, I guess.”

Asked whether the conditions were a test of his fitness, he added: “I haven’t played a game like that for a while on that sort of pitch, which was shocking in the first half, in the middle especially.

“The sides were OK but that middle patch was just like a minefield in there, slippy and the water and everything. But it was a good test I think and another positive.

“Did it take more out of me than a normal pitch? I’ll wait and see tomorrow, see how I feel.”

The game was the former Cardiff man’s second full 90 minutes in four days as he continues his comeback from his long spell out with a knee injury and he thought he coped well.

“I feel good,” he continued. “I wouldn’t say I feel as good as I did at Portman Road [on Saturday] but the conditions today were just sapping. The pitch was heavy, but I feel strong and I feel great and I feel like there’s still more to come and I’m excited for the games coming up.”

Huws confirmed that he believes he’d be fine to play on Saturday and is pleased to have got more game time in recent weeks.

“I haven’t played a lot and had a chance to get much of a rhythm and it’s tough when I’m coming back to fitness, trying to get a rhythm going,” he said.

“I think I’m managing to do that now and it’s nice and it’s good for me personally to get a run. Hopefully I’ll get back to influencing the games more and getting the wins.”

Are fans starting to see the real Emyr Huws again? “I think there are elements of my game that are coming and it’s nice and I’m glad to be helping the team.

“I still feel there is more to come, but I’m happy in the body, I feel strong and I feel really good.”

The one-time Manchester City trainee is pleased to be back involved and competing in the midfield again and is looking forward to the rest of the season.

“I think it’s exciting,” he added. “I’ve just got to keep working hard, all of us keep working hard, and it will come.

“We had a little blip, those things happen and I feel like there is a real unity and direction now and it’s nice, and I think it’s building.”

Huws is enjoying playing in midfield alongside Flynn Downes with Alan Judge ahead of them.

“I think we’re building that nicely,” he considered. “I think Judgey’s been outstanding in the last few games, so has Flynny all season.

“It’s been really nice playing with those two. Both are smart players, both know the game and know how to position themselves and we all help one another. It’s just nice.”

Manager Lambert has hinted that there will be less rotation in the second half of the season, however, Huws believes the squad will continue to be required.

“I still think there will be changes and we need everyone because we’ve got so much talent in the squad,” he said. “Eleven players aren’t going to win this league, we’re all going to win this league together.

“I’m sure that will be the case, people will come in and do the job. We need to win games and however we do that, whoever plays, we win need to win games and we need to get out of this league.”

Lambert has challenged players to aim to make a shirt their own and Huws says that competition for places will benefit the squad.

“I think that’s standard throughout all professional sport, especially in football,” he added. “The competition, people have to perform and there are players their waiting to take your spot.

“Healthy competition, we’re working hard in training, we’re putting the graft in and everyone’s pushing each other.”

Huws admits he’s frustrated not to have scored a league goal this season - although he did net in the 4-0 Trophy victory over Gillingham - with his last league goal the final moments strike in the 3-1 victory over Newcastle at Portman Road in April 2017.

“I know, I wish you’d not brought that up, but yes!” he laughed. “It’ll come. There were some chances today but the ball just didn’t sit. I’d like to add more goals and step by step I think I’ll get there.”

Looking ahead to the weekend, Town would benefit from another game given their return to form over the last few matches, however, it seems likely the match at Tranmere will be postponed with the Prenton Park pitch waterlogged and last night’s FA Cup tie against Watford called off.

“Nors [former Tranmere striker Norwood] did say it was bad but I didn’t know it was in jeopardy,” Huws added.

“But if it’s bad again we’ve probably had a good little warm-up with this one to know how we need to play.

“We have to play the conditions and we have to play smart, so we’ll go up there and go for the three points.

“Nors said it was a cow field, it’s like cows have been on it for seven years. He played there for a few years, so he should be used to it!”

Photo: Pagepix

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ArnieM added 11:35 - Jan 15
Well that says it all about what the players feel /felt about the infamous rotation system . I think PL used it to keep players legs fresh and in many ways make the season a “ half season” assault in promotion . Despite being very disruptive , Town are in a good place to strike now , if we can start to win games.

COYBS let’s do this..

brendenward35 added 12:21 - Jan 15
Think Huws was my man of the match last night he was everywhere and got stuck in which is what we needed. Play him as much as possible and I think we might just do it this season.

pennblue added 12:43 - Jan 15
Boys done good last night, worked their socks off, defence did great in particular. It did not quite happen for them, but the conditions did not help. Two things:

1) They need to stop getting bogged down in poor refereeing decisions. It's life, don't lose your focus on the game because of it.

2) Play football, stick to your principles, work hard, do your triangles, and be more clinical in the box.

We have the quality to win this League imo.

PortmanTerrorist added 13:34 - Jan 15
A game we would have lost in Oct/Nov/Dec. Will we rue not giving up on rotation sooner i wonder, and not trusting the likes of Huws with game time earlier? Time will tell, as will next couple of games to confirm this is indeed the turning point we all hope it is.

Len_Brennan added 13:55 - Jan 15
@ArnieM : I think you are right about Lambert's motivation for squad rotation over the first half of the season, although I suspect there were elements of trying to keep everyone happy, in a large squad for this Division, and of trying to be a bit too clever - the same with the postponement of some matches for relatively benign effects of international fixtures.
I like your take on us being in a good position to strike now, with perhaps fresher legs than some of our rivals. I just feel that we may have unnecessarily taken our feet off the gas at a time when we were 6/7 points clear of the field, bar Wycombe, with a game in hand, while our supposed biggest rivals, Sunderland and Portsmouth, were way off the pace.
We're all in the mix together again now though, and it is a straight run for the line until May; but those 2 sides seem to have sorted themselves out, Oxford have bought well in this window, Rotherham are undoubtedly a good side, as are Coventry, plus Doncaster (who I thought were the best side we played) are on a very good run despite tough fixtures. This all makes automatic promotion look as tricky a proposition now as it did before a ball was kicked this season, when perhaps it didn't have to be.
Thankfully we seem to be back on our game now, with the right players being picked in the right position.and a clear understanding of their role in the system. Between that, the fresh legs and the sheer quality of the squad, I still believe we should go up automatically.

IpswichToon added 13:56 - Jan 15
Uhuh, Superman does good. The boys are doing well.

ChateauWines added 13:56 - Jan 15
I was highly critical of Huws after Exeter game saying Bishops appetite in first proper game back put Huws to shame. Last night he was swashbuckling and at it in ridiculously testing conditions. Would love to see midfield 3 of Downes, Huws and Bishop when all on top form

SpiritOfJohn added 14:51 - Jan 15
Just a thought: without any squad rotation Huws might not have had the game time he needed to be fit for the second half of the season.

blueboy1981 added 15:04 - Jan 15
...... as a result of the hideous rotation policy being dropped.Perhaps Lambert has at last realised we are 3rd tier level - and not in the Champions League..... !!
Whatever anyone says, or thinks about Lambert - it’s taken long enough for the penny to drop for a so called (yet to be proven) top Manager.

dirtydingusmagee added 15:22 - Jan 15
rotation rotation rotation, lets hope that has been given the heave ho now, Let the team bond ,so they can play by instinct ,not hit and hope like a team of lost boys . COYB .

beornioblue added 15:31 - Jan 15

blueinscotland added 16:08 - Jan 15
Think it’s a bit early to say we’re back on form. One good result and two OK results. Important not to get too carried away.

Linkboy13 added 17:26 - Jan 15
Great to see Huws back playing again in my opinion when fully fit the best player at the club. To me at the moment he only looks about seventy five percent fit.The problem is when fully fit he will be in big demand as he is far too good for this league. But at the moment he only looks in third gear whether we will ever see him back to his best i have my doubts as he might still be carrying some sort of injury.

Bert added 17:32 - Jan 15
Funny how people read different things into what players say. My reading is that Huws acknowledges the squad will need to be utilised. "Players will come and go". In otherwords a limited amount of rotation will be necessary. Because of rotating, Huws was able to play some games. This doesn't need to be Lambert is wrong and the fans are right. Perhaps an over use of rotation before we were out of the cups but it is no surprise to me that Lambert will look to play his strongest team. We are all a bit right and so is Lambert.

norfolkbluey added 17:34 - Jan 15
It must have been terrible playing in the conditions last night especially on a pitch that has not had the attention as we have at PRoad. The boys did well and that and the previous game makes me believe again that progress is being made. We have some really good young players and they deserve to go up this season but it isn't a given that this will happen. The competition in this league is very strong and the players must remember this when they go out on the field. They will have to fight for every point supported by a brilliant supporters club! COYB's.

blueboy1981 added 18:15 - Jan 15
...... you’re right norfolkbluey this is a tough League - but lacking in quality.
We have the quality in our squad that many don’t, and we can top this. However, there will be a need at times to grind out wins with effort, grit, and determination - players who don’t fight shy of last night type conditions will be required.
The acid test will be if we have enough who fit the latter bill - on last nights show we have, but the end of season position will prove the point.
Re-visit this post in May .... !!!

TimmyH added 19:17 - Jan 15
The players sure are a good spin machine, one good performance at home to Stanley and a draw in poor conditions doesn't equate to 'unity and direction' in my book but fully hope what Emyr says will move us back into another good spell of results.

Big 5 months coming up...have the players/squad got the bottle when the crunch really comes?

Saxonblue74 added 21:23 - Jan 15
TimmyH, agree that were not the finished article but I do think We're getting there. I think we may be seeing Lamberts plan in action here, in the mix at half way then push on with his favoured line up, injuries permitting. Regarding Huws comments, confidence is a huge factor in sport at any level (even makes a difference to my pretty poor Golf game!) so if it's on the up that's a real plus.

Ryorry added 00:05 - Jan 16
Well said Huwsy!

karls_dad added 01:12 - Jan 16
Off topic I know, but I think this should be said! It was mentioned the other night at the Oxford game that the club had paid for an over night stay at a hotel, and this cost would be wasted should the game be called off? At the time I thought this seems very odd, it's only Oxford,
So I have just checked, Ipswich to Oxford, 140 miles, dual or motorway all the way, two hours twenty minutes!
So the players and staff I estimate of being around 30 people, the hotel most certainly will be no travel lodge, I would expect a minimum of £200 per person, kinnell! That's £6000! And we are supposed to be skint? But we can waste money like this!
Are our players unable to sit on a luxury coach for such a short time and then be able to run around a bit? I,m puzzled on the logic, a trip way up north I yes I get that, but Oxford?

Razor added 10:42 - Jan 16
Huws, and possibly Bish will make or break our season

ITFCsince73 added 13:44 - Jan 16
The whole squad, of highly paid individuals, will make or break the season.

runningout added 14:18 - Jan 16
Great to hear there’s unity in team. Heard this a lot when times have been ropey on the pitch. Hope we can turn it to more goals as good teams score more than what we have done of late. Onwards

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