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Skuse: Performance Showed We’ve Not Thrown in the Towel
Sunday, 8th Mar 2020 11:13

Midfielder Cole Skuse says the Blues’ improved performance against leaders Coventry City illustrated that the players haven’t thrown in the towel despite Town falling to a 1-0 defeat.

Matty Godden netted the game’s only goal in the 16th minute to send the Sky Blues five points clear at the top of League One with the Blues now down in 10th, their lowest position since Boxing Day 1956.

Town were significantly better than they were during Tuesday’s loss to Fleetwood by the same scoreline even though they were unable able to turn that display into three points.

“I think everyone saw that today,” Skuse said. “Again, the fans came out in their thousands and at the end of the first half and at the end of the game they could see that the lads have not thrown the towel in by any stretch.

“I thought it was a positive performance against a good, well-organised side who are sitting top of the league for a reason.

“They’ve had one shot, one goal. I’ve just said to our media guys, I’m really struggling for words. It’s not as if I’m coming out trying to hide away from questions or anything like that, I’m struggling for words [as it's] a really tough one to take today because I think we played really well and maybe on another day it would have gone another way.”

Town were without three of their senior frontmen, Will Keane having joined James Norwood (recovering from his groin operation) and Kayden Jackson (serving the third game of his three-match ban) in the stands, and Skuse conceded that the Blues struggled up front in their absence.

“Yes, because you’re missing quality players,” the 33-year-old added. “But you’ve still got Freddie Sears, who has played in the Premier League. We’ve got Tyreece Simpson, Dobs [Armando Dobra], Bish [Teddy Bishop] can play in a forward position, Judgey [Alan Judge], an international. You’re not talking about players with no calibre. They’re, top, top players that are playing.

“And it is just that spell at the minute where we’re just not getting that rub. I think the lads up top today were very good. I thought Gwion [Edwards] had a great game, Judgey especially was very good.

“I’m not trying to hide away from anything, I’m not making up excuses, it’s a really tough one to swallow. It’s a tough one.”

Skuse admitted that it’s currently a very tough period for the Blues, who are bottom of a League One form table calculated over the last nine games having lost seven during that period, including the last four.

“After 12 games we were sitting top of the league. Everything looked rosy, we’ve gone on a bad spell and now we’re sitting in [the] position [we are],” he reflected.

“I’m not speaking just on behalf of the players, I speaking on behalf of fans, staff members, the club as a whole, no one wants to be in the position we’re in.

“But that doesn’t mean we’ve thrown the towel in by any stretch, we’ve still got a chunk of games to go and as you can see today it was a very spirited performance from everyone.

“We’ll be trying our utmost to finish the season as well as we can and who knows where it will take us.”

Skuse, who will be back in his home city next Saturday when the Blues face Bristol Rovers, says there was an in-depth post-mortem at Playford Road following the Fleetwood defeat.

“We’ve regrouped over the few days,” he said. “We’ve had meeting after meeting and if I could come in front of you now and pinpoint one thing that was going wrong, then we wouldn’t be in this position, that one issue would have been eradicated weeks, if not months ago.

“It’s not for the want of trying to find what’s going wrong, it’s just isn’t happening for us at the minute. Like I said, we’ve given a positive display, there were some great performances but it just wasn’t to be.”

The Blues’ vice-captain insists the squad will keep fighting for a play-off place during the final eight games with the top six now seven points away with the four sides above them having two matches in hand.

“We’re realists, we’re not in the position we want to be by any stretch, we wanted to be sitting top of the league, rosy like Coventry and our fans singing ‘We’re top of the league, we’re going up’,” Skuse continued ruefully.

“We’re not hiding away from anything, like I said, the lads who came out today didn’t shirk anything, they didn’t shirk the responsibility, they were brave, everyone got on the ball, everyone was trying to make things happen.

“Me, as a senior player, and the other senior players were drumming it into the lads throughout the week, it happens in football, you go through rough patches. You’ve got to take the rough with the smooth but you have to be bold, you have to be brave, you have to keep getting on the ball and trying to make things happen, and we will continue to do that.”

One of the few positives during the recent spell has been the impression made by 18-year-old youngsters Tyreece Simpson and Armando Dobra from the bench, while Brett McGavin, 20, made his league debut from the start against Fleetwood.

“It gives us a breath of fresh air,” Skuse added. “Brilliant for the lads because they’re great kids. They’re like sponges as well, they hang on every word, they’re looking to improve themselves.

“They train really hard, they train really well, so it’s brilliant for them to get their chance.

“Maybe not in the position that we’d want them to get their chance, as I said, we want to be sat top of the league and them coming in with the whole place buzzing, but it is what it is. We’re in the position we are now and they’ve got to take their chance.”

Photo: TWTD

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jas0999 added 11:19 - Mar 8
Everyone at the club is deluded. Nothing in this game for a spirited performance. We weren’t good enough, nor have we been , not in just the last 9 games, but on and off since October.

This continued spin from the club, to paper over the dire position we find ourselves in, is becoming far too predictable.

We need to win games. We lost - again - yesterday.

MrTown added 11:20 - Mar 8
Same story, different season.

Same sh*t, different week.

Wish media duties were cancelled at the club.

Dockerblue added 11:28 - Mar 8
Did anyone at these meetings dare to tell No4 how bad he is? Can someone at the club please tell the fans whether there is any truth in the rumours that Norwood refuses to adhere to club's diet and won,t travel on the team bus. If true he should be off-loaded, no player is bigger than the club and he,s not as good as PL keeps saying he is

pennblue added 11:31 - Mar 8
"if I could pinpoint one thing that was going wrong"

Let me answer this one for you:


TimmyH added 11:36 - Mar 8
What a stupid comment from Cole - 'thrown in the towel'!?!...why would they do that if mathematically with 8 games to go and we can still get in the play-offs? (possibility but lets face it unlikely)

Can't help but feel that the staff/manager/players are trying to come out with crumbs for excuses...the last few months have been one disaster after another, oh and sorry for being negative @dolphin but that's reality for you.

Skip73 added 11:43 - Mar 8
Yes it does, as soon as it went 1-0, it was over. What a pathetic shower. Every one at the club should hang their heads. Losers!

DoseOfReality added 11:51 - Mar 8
It shows you are not good enough. Collective of cheap poor footballers not fit to wear the shirt.

When we do sign someone any good it only takes a few weeks to bring them down to the general level of the squad and that's League 2.

Said last season we were so bad the only reason we not going straight to leage 2 was because league 1 was in between.

Evans has let players including down Skuse as well as fans.


raycrawfordswig added 12:03 - Mar 8
Too little too late.

RegencyBlue added 12:04 - Mar 8
Yeah it was a better performance than Tuesday but let’s be honest, it would have been hard for it to have been any worse!

We are not good enough, it’s as simple as that. Years of the better players in the squad being sold and replaced by poorer, cheaper, ones has finally caught up with us.

shanelomax1 added 12:06 - Mar 8
This is from my son yesterday when we bumped into Skuse after the game

Had a very Interesting chat with Skuse at the end of the game at the tunnel (you can literally walk straight thereafter the game). I asked him if he liked the look of the ground empty as this will be next season and how I spend my hard-earned money watching this. He replied with don't bring finances into it in which I replied I get a lot less than you and if I did a shxt job I would be sacked. he then said I don't come and complain at your place of work. He also went on to say he's on a contract so he wouldn't be fired.

Make of that what you want

marco5113 added 12:07 - Mar 8
we wont win any game if we dont score.

this after match waffle is just not needed.


BlueInBerks added 12:11 - Mar 8
Play like that for the remaining games and we'll have a chance of play-offs

midastouch added 12:12 - Mar 8
They can try as hard as they like, they just haven't got the quality. I'd rather we just kept a handful of the experienced players (Skuse wouldn't be one of them) and started bedding in the youngsters. All this hype and supposed investment in the academy, well let's chuck them in the deep end and see how they get on. It's sink or swim time! What's for sure is we're sinking as a club right now so why not roll the dice on the youngsters and see if they can do any better. What have we got to lose as we're already in League One! So many of our experienced players just aren't worth the wages. They are either injured or under performing. We could learn a lot studying the model that the Belgium international team took. They essentially took the brave decision to dump all the experienced players knowing it would give them next to no chance of qualifying for at least the next 2 tournaments. And that's exactly what happened, but now look at them. They are one of the best international teams in the world. We're not going to get anywhere with washed up journeymen. Even if we scraped the Play Offs (which I can't see) can you imagine how badly we'd be shown up in the Championship with this current team! Too much rotten deadwood in our playing squad which needs an axe taken to it!

ketton_itfc added 12:12 - Mar 8
Well to me what the last two years have shown is we are devoid of any type of winning mentality, a backbone to fight back. We lack a real spine to see a game through. We may do it occasionally but on the whole we are powderpuff.
Both Skuse and Chambo have been good players for us but time has caught up with them. We need a fresh spine and who ever is manager needs to go out and buy two leaders at centre half and centre midfield. A powerful striker too. They may even be journeymen in L1 and L2 but the key thing is they are dogged leaders who are battle hardened. A Bostwick type. We have enough quality in the rest of the squad to complement them.

bluelodgeblue added 12:13 - Mar 8
Another post match comedy sketch! I think the script writer ran out of ideas not long after the team did!

cat added 12:14 - Mar 8
If you don’t take your chances and can’t stop conceding whilst playing with little confidence then it’s quite easy to pin point what’s gone wrong. We need a clear out whether Lambert stays or goes.
Chambers & Skuse are the leaders on the pitch and ever present in our decline, we need to change the mentality of the squad from losers to winners.

Gilesy added 12:15 - Mar 8
This isn't a "rough patch" though. It's a systemic failure to be an effective football club and it has to be addressed. It's like the difference between weather and climate. A cold day doesn't mean climate change isn't happening. An improved performance against Coventry City means nothing.

Does anyone know the last time we beat anyone top of the league we were in? Perhaps Newcastle a few seasons back? It's certainly been very infrequent over the years.

monkeymagic added 12:27 - Mar 8
If the players aren’t lying in these interviews and the team genuinely is still trying with no problems in the dressing room, we are bang in trouble. Relegation to league 2 becomes likely if form since October is carried into next season. Can’t see Evans investing and revenue will be down, so whoever is manager will face an uphill task. Realistically, I think Downes and Wolf as minimum would need to be sold and we’ll have to secure 4/5 solid league one players with the circa £3m given back to spend just to survive. That said, I think Skuse and Co are full of sh*t. Something(s) have clearly happened for form to fall off a cliff as bad at it has. I suspect 4&8 have a lot to answer for.

davidsc1971 added 12:40 - Mar 8
Yep, went on a bad run. For half the season. We've been poor for more than 9 games

Phil1969 added 12:41 - Mar 8
So my fellow Ipswich supporters (I’ve been one since my first game in 1969) Evans is no good, despite bankrolling the club since administration, Keane is no good, Jewell is no good, McCarthy is no good and Lambert has got to go. In all the many comments seen on here I haven’t read about a plan that keeps us within our Div One budget under FP rules, allows us to recruit a manager with Premier league and multi promotion experience (oh we’ve got one) and finishes with an invincible tag in winning the league. The club has been in a mess for some seasons yes results over the last four months are rubbish but the current management need more time if we are to become a Phoenix!
Get behind them instead of the sniping or give us a plan B.

dirtydingusmagee added 12:47 - Mar 8
jeeeeez its kin bad enough without players coming out and giving us this s##t everyone at the club is in denial ! they should isolate the bloody lot of them till end of season regardless of the virus.

TractorCam added 12:49 - Mar 8
The blip was August-October, other than that they've lost almost every game since Lambert has been here. Embarrassing manager and group of players, both came out and said Fleetwood and Coventry were 'must win games'. We got 0 points but at least we improved performance slightly, jokers.

midastouch added 12:50 - Mar 8
@Phil1969, the plan is laid out clearly above. That is follow the Belgium model. We start by dumping the under performing high wage earners and trust more in the youth. Moreover, clear out all the players with poor injury records. It wouldn't be an overnight success but at least we'd be building for the future. Remember that young team we sent to Crystal Palace in the League Cup, just imagine where we'd be right now if we had of stuck with all of them!

midastouch added 12:51 - Mar 8

dirtydingusmagee added 12:52 - Mar 8
EVANS ,LAMBERT .....PLEASE have a long look at the form table, YES thatS IPSWCH at the BOTTOM , ! [ Dolphin please take note too ]

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