Sears: Tough One For Nors But We've Still Enough Goals in the Squad
Friday, 2nd Oct 2020 12:35
Joint-leading goalscorer Freddie Sears is confident Town will cope without injured striker James Norwood, who has been ruled out for at least six weeks.
Norwood, who was last season’s top marksman alongside Kayden Jackson when the pair each netted 11 league goals, suffered a torn hamstring in training this week and is currently on crutches.
If Norwood’s absence is no longer than six weeks he is likely to miss 10 games in all competitions but Sears, whose two goals this term both came in the 3-0 Carabao Cup home win over Bristol Rovers, believes the Town squad is better prepared this season than last to cope without the ex-Tranmere man.
Sears, 30, is sharing the two-goal mark with midfielders Jon Nolan, Teddy Bishop and Gwion Edwards, the latter pair having been on target in both the Blues’ home league wins over Wigan and Rochdale as they extended their 100 per cent start to the season to three games and took them to the top of the League One table on goal difference from Hull City and Lincoln City, the only other sides with maximum points.
The forward West Ham and Colchester player said: “We all feel for Nors. It’s a tough one and it happened out of nowhere, which is the most disappointing thing.
“He’s only just come back to full fitness, so for Nors it’s far from ideal to be facing another lengthy spell on the sidelines.
“He’s the sort of guy who needs to be playing regularly, week in and week out, rather than being in the situation he now finds himself in.
“But the medical team are great here and I’m sure they will get him right so that he’s back with us sooner rather than later.
“Hopefully, Kayden Jackson will be back and involved on Saturday against MK Dons and we know he can bring goals to the team.
“It’s the same with Oli Hawkins – he has shown he can get a few – and I can see me, Gwion, Judgey, Nolo, Bish and Jack weighing in with some as well.
“There are still enough goals to go round for us to stay positive and keep this good run going.
“Personally, I’ve always felt confident about scoring and especially in this league.
“When I was at Colchester I think I had about 13 or 14 just after Christmas and that was what helped me to get the move to Ipswich.
“I know what I can do in this division, as well the division above, so I’ve never been worried about scoring goals.
“Also, I think the gaffer is looking for the goals to be spread about a bit more this season.
“We haven’t had a goalscoring midfielder at the club for a long time and we have several lads who are capable of doing it and getting into double figures.”
Sears highlighted another major blow for Norwood, a keen amateur golfer who spends a lot of his spare time out on the course, adding: “Another big disappointment for Nors is that he won’t be playing too much golf.
“I’ve been playing a lot of golf with him lately – you know, taking his money now and again – and it will be a big disappointment for the other boys who play golf as well.
“But he says he’s coming back with a high handicap so he’ll be looking to recover his losses. To be fair we’re pretty even as golfers but there are a few of us – Chambo, Gwion, Teddy and Jack – in what’s a pretty good golf squad.
“After we play Gillingham on Tuesday, and with the Charlton league game postponed, there’s going to be a bit of spare time. But the weather has turned so I’m not sure I’ll be out as much.
“The break will be welcome but on the other hand it’s a pity we can’t play next weekend and keep the momentum going.”
Oli Hawkins impressed in his first league start for Town against Rochdale and might even have netted a hat-trick before his clever footwork paved the way for Bishop’s opening goal.
“Oli is definitely capable of getting goals,” said Sears. “He gives us a real presence and something different to what we’ve had in the past.
“Maybe last season we lacked that type of player. Kayden has played as a target man but he’s a more technical player, whereas Oli poses a real aerial threat.
“We see it a lot in training, where the ball’s coming into the box a lot and he’s getting his head on them, and for me it’s good to play with someone like that.
“I’ve always enjoyed playing with a bigger target man and I’m looking forward to linking up more with him.”
Asked if boss Lambert opted for a two-man attack would he like to play alongside Hawkins, the former England U21 cap admitted: “That’s probably the dream partnership for me.
“I know it’s the old cliché of the big man and the little man but that’s the role I’ve enjoyed playing the most. I’m not sure if we’ll be doing a lot of that this year, because the formation is obviously working well at the minute, but I’m always willing to play where I’m needed.
“Lone striker? I believe I could play there but it depends on what type of football you’re going to play.
“If you’re lumping it upfield for 90 minutes it’s probably not worth it, but if you’re playing to a system and a shape where you’re going to get the ball in behind and you can use your movement, it could work.
“I saw a lot of Coventry last season and it worked with Matt Godden, who I know quite well and is a similar build to me, up front.
“He has shown you don’t always need the big target man type down the middle, but whatever happens I’m happy and enjoying my football right now so we’ll just go from there.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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