Thomas: The Mood in the Dressing Room is Good
Monday, 25th Jan 2021 13:00
There may be a lot of negativity surrounding Town at the moment but new loanee Luke Thomas claims he has found the mood in the camp upbeat after arriving from Barnsley for the remainder of the season.
Winger Thomas, who came off the bench for the final 15 minutes of Saturday’s 1-0 home defeat by Peterborough, is in line to start tomorrow’s visit to Portman Road by a Sunderland side looking to extend the EFL’s only unbeaten away record.
Asked about the dressing room atmosphere, Thomas replied: “I’ve only been here for a short period of time but in that time the other lads have been brilliant with me, while the manager and his staff have been the same. They have welcomed me with open arms and I would say the mood is good.
“Of course, we all get down in football if we’re not getting the right results but we also know we have to pick ourselves up and put things behind us to get ready for the next challenge. We’re just hoping we can get the right result on Tuesday.
“Everybody is pulling in the right direction and fully behind the manager, 100 per cent. I’ve only just arrived but that’s the impression I get.
“The mood is positive and in the training sessions I’ve done so far I couldn’t believe how good the players were on the ball, even when they were receiving it in tight areas and being closed down. There is still a lot of confidence about them.”
Hopes were high, especially after Town took 16 points from their opening six games to shoot to the top of the table, that this campaign would see them challenging for automatic promotion. But after taking only 19 from their subsequent 15 fixtures they have slipped to ninth place and fans fear a repeat of last season’s failure.
Thomas admitted: “For the size of the club I think it’s a case of having under-achieved so far this season. When I first arrived and saw the stadium and the training ground I couldn’t believe how good they are.
“The quality of players is also high and once we click I think this team can still achieve something this season.
“I’ve come here to hopefully help them get promoted and from what I’ve seen in my first week I don’t see any reason why we can’t do it.”
The one-time Cheltenham youngster, capped twice by England at U20 level, added: “As far as the fans are concerned I would say it is our results that will change the way they are feeling.
“I know the team has lost five out of six at home now and any manager, any set of players, are going to get some stick for that. It would be the same at any club.
“I don’t think our fans will be too bothered about performances if the results are there but having said that we know that good performances usually lead to good results.
“I’m not really a social media person and being new to the club I’m not really confident about talking with the lads about the situation of the manager being under pressure.
“The feeling I get is that everybody is sticking to their jobs and also sticking together as a unit at what is a difficult time. Football is about results and opinions can change very quickly.”
Manager Paul Lambert must be toying with the idea of starting against Sunderland with Thomas on the right and five-goal joint-top scorer Gwion Edwards on the left, both players having impressed in the short period they were on the pitch at the weekend.
Thomas continued: “Right-wing is my favourite position and that’s where I believe I can cause the most damage to the opposition, whether it’s cutting in or sliding passes through.
“Gwion’s a very good player, similar over on the left to me on the right. When we get the opportunity, on Tuesday or whenever it may be, I feel we can cause havoc for the opposition.
“I just do my best for the team. I look to create and make things happen at the top end of the pitch but I think it should be a minimum for any player to do the defensive side and I’m 100 per cent about that myself.
“That’s not going to stop and when I’m needed I’ll be there, but hopefully I can spend more time creating things.”
Finally, while Thomas is up and running as a Town player, fellow loanee Josh Harrop is self-isolating after discovering he had tested positive for Covid-19 so the Preston midfielder will again be absent tomorrow and again on Saturday for the trip to Crewe, a side who have recently overtaken Town in the table, albeit having played three games more.
Thomas added: “It’s a nightmare situation for Josh and I feel really sorry for him. It’s unbelievable that he tested negative on both Monday and Tuesday last week then positive on Friday.
“He’s going to miss another two games but hopefully, after he comes out of isolation, he will show what an important player he can be for us. I’ve only been able to have a short chat with him and I hope he’s looking out for himself, and that he’ll be able to come back with no problems.
“Circumstances are strange right now for all of us and it might take a bit longer than usual to get to know all the lads. But the skipper, Chambo, has been great and he has gone out of his way to make sure I feel welcome here. He has involved me every day and he has made it a lot easier for me to settle in.”
Photo: Matchday Images
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