Downes: It Was Never the Case That I Refused to Play
Friday, 29th Jan 2021 10:49
Town midfielder Flynn Downes has denied rumours that he refused to play for the club last year when Crystal Palace tried to sign him.
The Eagles had two bids rejected and Downes responded by requesting a transfer, which the club were quick to turn down.
When manager Paul Lambert said he was not being considered for selection “for the time being” some supporters suggested the player had refused to play for the club.
But today, when asked if Palace were still keen to sign him, the England U20 cap said: “I don’t know, I haven’t a clue about that.”
Downes admitted he wanted to make the move, adding: “Well, they’re a Premier League team, so who wouldn’t?”
But he insisted he had no regrets about the episode that played out on the eve of the new season. He continued: “Do you know what, I don’t have any regrets? I think that if you live your life you can’t have any regrets. It is what it is.
“I love this club but a massive opportunity was offered to me and ever since I was a little kid I’d said I wanted to play in the Premier League. But it’s in the past now and I’m fully focused on Ipswich, that’s it.”
Downes, who was fully fit but absent from Town’s first three games of the current campaign, was also asked how much the situation affected him. He responded: “Mentally, it was something new to me. I’d never experienced anything like that before and it was tough, very tough. It was all new to me but I feel better for it now, definitely.
“It was never the case that I refused to play. I simply didn’t feel well enough to play. I know it sounds weird but that’s just how it was. I didn’t feel confident to go out there.
“It was a weird scenario. I didn’t feel like I was mentally right so I knew I couldn’t give 100 per cent for the boys. That’s how I felt.
“Every kid – and it’s every kid, I’m sure – wants to play at the top, so when the opportunity came about I felt I had to do everything I could to try to take it. I’m ready to play at that level, 100 per cent.”
Asked if he thought he would be playing in League One next season, Downes said: “Who knows? It was very flattering and definitely a massive confidence booster. But it’s in the past now and I just want to focus on Ipswich and getting us promoted to be honest.”
Downes returned to action off the bench in the Papa John’s Trophy home clash with Fulham and then featured as a substitute in the three league games against Bristol Rovers, Rochdale and MK Dons, where he sustained a knee injury that was to sideline him for over three months.
He made his comeback as a half-time replacement for Emyr Huws in the 3-2 home defeat by Swindon and since then has started – and finished – the win at Burton and the home defeats by fellow promotion hopefuls Peterborough and Sunderland.
“It’s lovely to be back and I’ve missed it so much. Honestly, I can’t put it into words,” he admitted.
“The whole lockdown thing hasn’t helped because you’re literally just sitting there doing nothing. It’s just so good to be back. It has been a long three months but hopefully it doesn’t happen again. It was no fun being out and I can’t watch – literally I can’t.”
Downes is delighted to have completed the full 90 minutes in three games in quick succession and added: “With an injury like mine, when you come back you are still getting pains in the knee. When I played the first 45 minutes it was a big achievement because I had only trained two or three times before that.
“That was a big positive but to be getting through 90 minutes recently has been unbelievable. With every 90 minutes I can feel I’m getting better and closer to my best so hopefully that can continue.
“When you’ve been out for any length of time it always plays on your mind but I literally don’t think about it at all now.
“I remember it happening and I knew it was a bad one. I tried to get up – I don’t tend to stay down – and my leg was literally shaking so I knew it was game over for me.
“But I’m back now and I feel that with every game I play I’m getting better. I’m getting my confidence back but it does take time.
“My first full start was at Burton and to be honest I felt way off it. My legs were so heavy but the other day against Sunderland I felt really good. So it’s just about playing and I hope it’s not long before I’m back to my very best.
“We all need to be back at our best for the second half of the season. I’m trying really hard. I’m working hard in training so hopefully it comes back asap.
“We are underachieving, no doubt about that. It’s not down to one person, it’s down to everyone at the club, but we’re trying to put it right and hopefully that will start at Crewe tomorrow.”
Photo: Matchday Images
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Blogs 278 bloggers
Tractor Boy on a Mission by wadey
As some of you may be aware, we lost our little boy Tyler on 1st April 2012, aged just 15 months old. There was no cause declared and he just passed away in his sleep. Since then, I’ve tried to raise as much money for charity in memory of him.
Damned Lies and Football Statistics? by bluesman
Football is possibly the most observed sport of all time, and there is plenty of statistical information available in the public domain to make some informed observations about clubs and managers, and their performance over the years.
From Marcus's Side of the Fence by essexccc
Most of the thinking, including my own, around the possible sale of the club, has quite naturally focused on the possibilities from the club's and supporters' points of view.
Something Rotten by Tristan90
Marcellus, a guard at Elsinore Castle, is a bit-part character in Hamlet yet utters one of the play’s most famous lines: "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark."
Be Careful What You Wish For by Broganonthewing
This phrase has been bandied about quite a bit recently, even Marcus Evans has quoted it.
Ipswich Town Polls
[ Vote here ]