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Huws: We've Learned From Last Season
Sunday, 18th Oct 2020 16:35

Midfielder Emyr Huws believes the Blues have learned and continue to learn from last season and are better placed to build on their excellent start this time around.

Town were top of League One after six games in 2019/20, just as they are after the same number of fixtures in this campaign, although having picked up two more points than a year ago.

Five wins and one draw from their first six matches is their best start to a league campaign since the famous 1980/81 season.

Reflecting on yesterday’s 2-0 home victory over Accrington Stanley, the Blues' third home win by the same scoreline in their three League One matches at Portman Road, Huws said: “The first half was tough, they made it tricky, but I think we found our way in the second half and then broke them down eventually and scored two good goals.”

What clicked after the break? “We just did our stuff that we’d been working on. They made it tricky for us in the first half, pressing us man for man, so we just stuck with it and I think as time went on they probably got a little bit tired and we had more space and took advantage of that, and it was a good win.”

Huws says that sort of opposition approach is something he and his team-mates will become familiar with having emerged as the team to beat.

“The gaffer’s warned us of that so we’ve got to get used to it and I think we dealt with it well because they came with a game plan and they caused us a little problem but credit to us for getting three points,” the Welshman said.

Asked whether he feels the squad would be able handle a more physical approach which also might come their way in the weeks and months to come, he added: “We’ve got fit boys, we all work hard and I think we’re more than able to cope with it. I’m not really worried about that.”

The 27-year-old says Town’s style of football this season has been very enjoyable to play: “It’s been good. It’s proving that all the stuff we do on the training pitch is working, so it’s good.

“It’s why we work hard, to get the three points and win the games. We want to keep going and hopefully win the next one.”

He feels the 4-3-3 system works well: “I think it suits us. It’s nice to play in and when we get the ball down and play it’s nice and we need to continue to do that. We’re going to keep working hard, so I think it will.”

Huws made his first league start of the season at Blackpool last week with Jon Nolan absent with a calf problem and kept his place against Stanley despite the Merseysider's return to fitness having taken his opportunity to impress against the Seasiders.

“We’ve got a strong team, a strong squad and we’re going to need that to be successful,” he said. “Everyone’s just pushing each other and we want to win games and we need everyone.

“It can be tricky at times but everyone’s there for each other and we need that team spirit, especially to keep it going, keep us going and keep getting the wins.”

He admits it was frustrating in the earlier games with Nolan, Andre Dozzell and Teddy Bishop establishing themselves as the midfield trio.

“Yes, I’d be lying if I said no,” the former Manchester City trainee smiled. “But look, I think the most important thing is for us to be winning and the club to be successful.

“If I have to grit my teeth for a while and keep working hard, then so be it, that’s part of football.”

Town went into the season plenty of central midfield options but with Cole Skuse and Flynn Downes both currently sidelined with knee problems, it’s a time when those who are currently fit can establish themselves.

“It is,” he concurred. “That’s football, things change quickly, so you need to be ready all the time.

“Everyone just needs to keep working hard and be ready when called upon because there are a lot of games, and we’re looking to win them all so everyone has to be at it and we need everyone.

“I didn’t realise quite how many lads we had out injured but credit to everyone for coming together and doing the business, that shows the strength in the squad.”

The midfield has been a rich source of goals so far this season and Huws hopes it won’t be long before he finds the net.

“Yes, definitely,” he added. “Once I get into a little groove that’s something I definitely want to add to my game, contributing goals etc. I’m looking to do that.”

Fellow Welshman Gwion Edwards is leading the way this season with his five goals - four in the last four matches - seeing him top the early top scorer chart.

“Fair play to him, he deserves it, he tries really hard, he’s got a great attitude,” Huws said.

“I’m really happy for him and he’s showing everyone what he can do, all credit to Gwi.”

Huws insists the Blues are better placed to take their positive start on than they were a year ago.

“I think last season it wasn’t what we wanted but we’ve learned from it and we’re trying to continue to learn from it and not get complacent at all, keep doing our stuff, keep working hard,” he said.

“No game is easy because we’re there to be shot at we have to be at it all the time.”

Saturday’s game was the first of eight matches in 25 days - they visit Doncaster on Tuesday and Lincoln next Saturday - which could prove to be a crucial spell for the Blues.

“It’s going to be important to keep doing our stuff, not getting complacent, keep working hard and if we believe in what work on then I’m pretty sure we’ll be OK.”

Photos: TWTD/Matchday Images

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dirtydingusmagee added 16:50 - Oct 18
Lets hope so. Certainly the team are performing more like a team, and with some improved performances from people who were not good enough last season. No complaints so far , lets hope the injury problems we are cursed with dont drag on . coyb

runningout added 17:02 - Oct 18
Good start, but way too early

Len_Brennan added 17:38 - Oct 18
IIt's hard to argue against the midfield 3 being Dozzell, Nolan & Bishop, given their form so far this season, so let me try. The overall balance is better with Huws in there, not least in that he offers a bit of presence which may not have been vital thus far, but will be in the more difficult games to come against the better, stronger sides in this league. I know that might sound harsh, particularly on Nolan who has been very good; but I think we'd all agree that a fit Downes, with his head in the right place, would walk straight into the starting XI ahead of Nolan & Huws.
Dozzell has to play given his unique set of skills & Bishop has that ability to open up a defence with a run or creative ball and also links well with the frontman. So, for me, it has to be Huws ahead of Nolan for the 3rd midfield spot in the games ahead. I just can't see us being able to out-battle the likes of Birdcutt for Lincoln with Nolan, Bish & Dozzell as our midfield.
I have a similar fear of Chambers (who also has been great for us this season) at right full back, when we come against sides with a strong attacking left winger - flashbacks to him getting roasted, when 5 years younger, under Mick. But of course that was against Championship level wingers, so hopefully he'll be better able to deal with the threat here. That's a discussion for another day in any event.

billlm added 18:09 - Oct 18
Len Brennan, some valid points, we all know physically were no where near other teams, but if we can just keep this run going a little longer confidence will build, Then as a group the extra 10% they will end up giving may just take us over the line,

chepstowblue added 18:39 - Oct 18
Daft thing to say, but then again he's a footballer with a mic under his nose! Way too early to start making claims that we're somehow different from last season. Time will tell, but until we're 4pts clear of 3rd or 7th with one game to go let's just continue to try and emulate the confident words with confident performances.

Bluedocker added 18:49 - Oct 18
I would try him up front tuesday if strikers still not available again. Bit more of a physical presence about him.

ThaiBlue added 20:36 - Oct 18
We will find if we learnt from mistakes in may.

ArnieM added 21:35 - Oct 18
Stick a bit of pace in our team and opponents “ high pressing” tactic could undo them as we’d be more capable of hitting them on the break .

Saxonblue74 added 21:48 - Oct 18
I think the difference this season is we've raised the performance level. As much as we were top of the table last January it was only a matter of time before we went on the slide, we really were riding our luck in a lot of games. Delighted with our start and hope we can get something out of the next 2 very tricky fixtures.

unknown100 added 22:15 - Oct 18
@lee_brennan- good comments :)

One thing I would say though is at the start of the season, I was worried downes would go, after what I’ve seen from him this season, he’s been very hot headed, and nearly got sent off and the midfield have been fantastic, I may be biased as I don’t like players handing in transfer requests (even though I do get it!) but I just think if a player makes it clear they would like to move on, I think we should let him, even though I know he’d be missed.

I’d rather have a team United and all want to be there

Europablue added 07:15 - Oct 19
unknown100 on the personal side, I agree that you should let a player move on who doesn't want to be here, but from the business perspective, you have to get the right price. It's quite natural for his head to be turned, but we will see how he reacts when he's back from injury. If he gets back into the side and helps us win promotion, then he will be better off with us in the Championship for a season than playing in the Palace reserves.

ChrisFelix added 08:38 - Oct 19
Our midfield this season is the difference. Dozzell & Skuses like chalk & cheese. A mobile middle 3 not only supports the strikers but takes pressure off what can be a suspect defence. Play in the opponents half & you win games. Sorry to say this but Skuses plays as an extra defender

Razor added 10:33 - Oct 19
Yeah I thought with their slow back line Bennetts would have been on a lot earlier as he has the pace----did well when he eventually got on including 2 stepovers in the opposition box--pity he scuffed his shot!!

BettyBlue added 10:54 - Oct 19
How are we going to win anything without a forward who can score double figures?

Ipswichbusiness added 11:22 - Oct 19
On Tuesday if our more experienced strikers are still injured I would like us to start with Tyreece Simpson. I know that he is raw, but the only way he will learn is by playing.

SheptonMalletBlue added 12:34 - Oct 19
Last season there was an arrogance about the club, postponing matches and suchlike. I think some thought we were too big for this division and had the right too just walk walk it! I think this season is different and I feel much more confident about our chances of promotion.

BobbyBell added 13:32 - Oct 19
A lot of central defenders in this league are big and will head the ball away happily all day long. Long balls and high crosses are their bread and butter. Against Accrington we needed Sears in the middle to worry them and turn them around. Most in this division would hate the thought of someone like Sears with his skill and pace running them ragged. We need to give opposition defenders what they don't want to be facing which is pace and fast passing moves. Keep the ball on the deck and make them chase it.

Linkboy13 added 15:37 - Oct 19
I think most people with a bit of football knowledge will agree that Emyr Huws when fully fit is far away our best midfield player. But its pretty obvious he's never got over his injury problems and will never be the same player . He rarely looks like creating anything and is not a goal threat, so how anybody can suggest leaving out Nolan after the season he's had is a joke. Yes i agree Downes has to come back when fit.

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