Wilson: Competition For Places Healthy
Sunday, 30th Aug 2020 15:24
Centre-half James Wilson says it’s healthy for the Blues to have plenty of competition at the heart of their defence, the 31-year-old having played his first game of pre-season at Cambridge United yesterday.
Wilson admits he has no idea who will line up for the Blues at the centre of the defence once the season proper gets under way with skipper Luke Chambers, Toto Nsiala, Luke Woolfenden and Corrie Ndaba his competition for what seem certain to be two places rather than the three centre-halves the Blues utilised towards the end of last season.
“I haven’t got a clue,” he said when asked who he thought might get the nod when the campaign gets under way with Bristol Rovers’ visit to Portman Road in the Carabao Cup next Saturday.
“If we all just stick with it and stick with the way of playing, then no matter who plays, we’ll be fine.
“I think when Saturday comes and in the next couple of weeks we’ll figure it out. Everyone will be rooting for everyone, that’s the main thing.”
Wilson welcomes the competition for places: “Of course, and everyone probably thinks the same, that’s good, that’s healthy to have that in the squad, I think.”
The once-capped Wales international, who joined the Blues after a trial last summer having left Lincoln, was surprised he felt as good as he did after playing his first game of pre-season as Town were defeated 1-0 at Cambridge United yesterday.
Having been out with a calf injury for two weeks, he had returned to training on Monday and played the full 90 minutes at the Abbey Stadium, the first half in his usual central defensive role before moving to right-back after the break.
“I feel good actually,” he said. “I was surprised how good I felt. I tore my calf so I had two weeks off but I felt really good.”
Reflecting on the defeat to the League Two U’s, he said: “Things didn’t really go our way, it was more us not playing great than them playing better than us but that’s something we need to work on definitely.”
However, he insists the result is nothing to get too concerned about: “Definitely not, I think we’re trying to play a certain way and it’s going to take time. I think, on the whole, we played some nice football at times, we just couldn’t really get that final pass in. Hopefully that will be better.”
Regarding the identity and style of play that manager Paul Lambert and his staff have sought to instil during pre-season, he added: “It’s really important. No matter who plays, we all need to know how we’re going to play and I think that’s especially important in a long season.
“There are going to be a lot of games coming fast, so if we know that people are coming in and out and they’re going to be playing the same way it’s easier for everyone.
“We’re going to try and pass the ball, we’ve got to keep it, we’ve got to move people around and try and be dangerous, try and put strong runners in behind. I think that’s the main thing, strong runs in behind, I think that’s the way we’re going to score goals.”
He says passing the ball out from the back suits him: “Yes, I think so. It would do anyone that wants to play football. I think it’s good for everyone.”
However, he is aware that sometimes the approach may lead to errors which can cost goals, as was the case with West Ham’s fourth in the friendly last Tuesday.
“Everyone’s going to make mistakes this season, especially playing like this,” he continued. “But I think if we get it right, you saw Coventry last season, they started off slowly but they played the same way the whole season and by the end of it they were playing really well, playing really good football. I think that’s a good model to work from.
“From the first time we played them to the last game they’d got better, so I think if you stick with a certain system it’s definitely the best way forward.”
Wilson has been joined at Portman Road by another Welshman this summer, keeper David Cornell, who he says is a familiar face.
“I know him really well,” he said. “I played with him a few times before, I played with him with Wales and I played with him at Oldham for a season, so I know Dai really well and he’s going to be great for us, I think.”
Again with Tomas Holy also vying for the goalkeeping position, he says there will be a healthy fight for the shirt: “Exactly, it’s the competition for places.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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