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Wilson: If We Keep Playing Like We Did Against Oxford We'll Be There or Thereabouts
Sunday, 21st Feb 2021 11:18

Centre-half James Wilson insists the Blues are in “a really good place” and believes that if they carry on performing as they did in yesterday’s 0-0 home draw with Oxford United they’ll be “there or thereabouts” come the end of the season.

The Blues dropped a place to 12th as a result of their second successive home stalemate, now six points off the top six and 14 away from the automatic promotion spots.

Asked whether the draw with the U’s was a point won or two lost, Wilson said: “It’s a tough one. I think we deserved to win the game, to be honest. We had some really good chances. But a point’s a point, it’s something to build on.

“I think they’re the in-form team in the league, I thought we had the best chances, so I think that says a lot.

“It’s a bit frustrating but it’s a stepping stone. We’ve just got to take each game as it comes. There’s a lot going on about the place, I think you can all see that. But we’ve got a lot of young boys and we’ve just got to keep going.”

As a centre-half, the Welshman was pleased with the clean sheet: “Yes, of course. That’s exactly what I wanted from today’s game, so really happy with that.”

The 31-year-old was among a number of surprise recalls as manager Paul Lambert made seven changes, the central defender having been out since the Lincoln City trip in October due to a knee problem.

“I’ve been back training for a couple of weeks after my injury,” he said. “I was enjoying training and doing as much as I could in training, so I was hopeful of playing.

“I feel really good. I’ve done loads of fitness work with the physios, so I had two weeks on the grass running and doing fitness work and two weeks’ training, so I was good to go.”

Wilson, who joined the Blues in the summer of 2019 after leaving Lincoln City, revealed he needed surgery on his knee.

“It’s been really frustrating,” he admitted. “I did five or six weeks of rehab and my knee wasn’t right so I had to get an operation, so I had to do the same again, rehab after that.

“It’s been really frustrating but we’ve still got so many games to go, which is lucky, we’ve got 19 games left, so I just want to play as many as possible.”

And he says watching games has been even tougher for injured players this season than it usually is.

“It’s been really hard, even more so this season,” he reflected. “We can’t even come to the games, we’re watching it on iFollow.

“So it’s been frustrating but I think we’re still in a really good place, I know there’s a lot going on, a lot being said but I still think within the dressing room we’re in a really good place.”

Wilson, who says he is “definitely” ready to go again at Hull on Tuesday, says he enjoys playing alongside Toto Nsiala, who also returned to the side yesterday following his hamstring injury.

“I enjoy playing Totes,” he said. “I don’t know if I’ve played with anyone else this season out of the other centre-back boys. But I enjoy playing with Totes, I think we have a good understanding.”

While he, Nsiala and skipper Luke Chambers, who was also back in the side at right-back, added experience to the team on Saturday, Wilson had praise for youngsters Luke Woolfenden, Mark McGuinness and recent new loanee Luke Matheson for their performances.

“I think they’ve done great defensively,” he said. “I think [having] a lot of games has been really tough for them this season, so I think they’ve done great and I think they’ll be back in before long.”

Looking at Town’s current position, despite being six points off the top six, Wilson believes they’re very much in the running.

“We’ve got two games in hand, we need to make them count,” he said. “I think we’re in a really good place, I think if we carry on playing like we did today, we’ll be there or thereabouts.”

He believes one or two wins could really kickstart things and help the Blues to build up some momentum.

“I think so,” he said. “With the number of games we’ve got on Tuesdays, points can quickly tot up. We’ve got to put ourselves in a good position coming into the last five or six games of the season, and I think we can definitely do that.”

Wilson wasn’t overly impressed by Monday’s Blue Action protest, which led to an inadvertent fire caused by a flare and training being suspended for 10 minutes.

“I think it was completely unhelpful, to be honest,” he said. “Obviously the fans have got their opinion, that’s great, but I don’t think that’s the way to go about it.

“Before the Northampton game, I think we had the youngest side we’ve had out all season, so it’s not helpful.”

As that demonstration illustrated, manager Paul Lambert has been under significant pressure, although appears to have been given some breathing space by yesterday’s result and performance against the division’s form side.

Wilson says the players know they have a role in easing that: “It’s our responsibility, we’re the ones out on the pitch. I don’t see anything changing, we’ve just got to keep going, we’ve got to stick together.”

Asked to comment on Kayden Jackson and Jon Nolan being frozen out and made to train with the U23s, he said: “To be fair, it’s nothing to do with us, the decisions that get made like that, it’s nothing to do with us. They’re still our team-mates so we’ve just got to stick with them.

“We’re all in it together, I think they might get a chance later on down the line, you never know.”

Looking ahead to Tuesday’s game at Hull City, who were pegged back to a 3-3 draw in the 12th minute of injury time at Doncaster on Saturday, he said: “They’ve got a lot of talent, so we’ve just got to take it to them and see how we go.”

But he believes if the Blues replicate the display against Oxford then they’re capable of claiming all three points.

“Yes, I think so, I don’t see why not,” he insisted. “Anyone can beat anyone in this league on their day, so if we turn up like we did today, then we’ll have a good chance.”

Photos: TWTD/Matchday Images

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thechangingman added 11:19 - Feb 21
I don't want to over-think this, but I really need to re-define my understanding of 'a really good place'!!!!

Lightningboy added 11:23 - Feb 21
“If” & “there or thereabouts”.....and this is at the 3rd level of english football.


bluearmy4life added 11:24 - Feb 21
This is absolute rubbish. We drew at home to Oxford United 0-0!!!!! That’s not a good result at all. 2 points from 6 and both games at home. Do me favour. 2 shots on target in 90 minutes is poor. Yes the performance may of been better, but ultimately it wasn’t good enough to win and take the three points.

TimmyH added 11:25 - Feb 21
Look! they've wheeled out James Wilson (probably our best player yesterday)...well 'thereabouts' is not good enough now we've dropped to the third tier! and if we played like yesterday where we failed to find the back of the net yet again we certainly won't be near the play-offs.

How the standards at the club continually fall away.

bluejacko added 11:28 - Feb 21
They are really well schooled before they are sent out to waffle aren’t they?
Total bollards🤬

TractorFrog added 11:29 - Feb 21
It’s great to have James Wilson back. He is a very solid defender and a safe pair of hands (feet). I actually think he should be the captain of the team in the absence of Chambers, Skuse and Ward.

martin587 added 11:33 - Feb 21
Yes you had a good game but “thereabouts”please don’t make us all laugh.It’s just not good enough.Be honest.

itsonlyme added 11:39 - Feb 21
There or thereabouts isn’t good enough!

runaround added 11:39 - Feb 21
There or thereabouts will mean mid table in the third division then batting relegation to the fourth division next season with the current manager and structure in place. Might be good enough for you James but not for 99% of other people associated with ITFC

Calderboy added 11:41 - Feb 21
Papering over the cracks

davetheblue added 11:43 - Feb 21
No we are at moment a mid table league 1 team.
New manager needed
Cut down this big squad,skuse ,huws,sears,chambers,ward,Nolan,Jackson,domacien.
And get 4 better better quality players in key positions.
It seems simple to me but no one seems to have the balls or sense to do it.

smithy0981 added 11:44 - Feb 21
No we won’t! You need to score goals which is something we cannot do

aas1010 added 11:50 - Feb 21
The sinking ship continues to sink a slow dying death ! Lambert out ! 🪓🪓🪓🪓

roystevensonsrocket added 11:52 - Feb 21
Sorry James but you are deluded but have probably secured a starting place for the foreseeable future

chepstowblue added 12:03 - Feb 21
Errrrr no.

blues1 added 12:15 - Feb 21
My god. Some of our fans really talk bull. Stop looking at this through ur opinions for a minute and just be objective. The facts are, that we actually, somehow, are still in a good position. 6 points from 6th place with a game in hand, 2 in hand over a couple of others in top 6, is hardly a bad place to be in. Would you really want the players to be saying the seasons over, with that being the situation? Sure youd soon be slagging them off if they threw the towel in. Dont get me wrong, my opinion of where we'll be, come the end of the season, is probably no different than any of urs, but players dont come out to talk about their opinions, only about the facts of the position we're in. But they just get slagged off every time, despite the fact they have to give these interviews. It's part of their job to do so.

raycrawfordswig added 12:20 - Feb 21
No point having games in hand if you don’t win them .

LWNR2013 added 12:21 - Feb 21
Laugh of the week.......American consortium 😂

sospier added 12:22 - Feb 21
blues I think it would be best if the players just said nothing.Sometimes they just hang themselves out to dry.

happybeingblue added 12:24 - Feb 21
If manager and players had produced the goods James then the fans would not need to protest,comments like that do you no favours you are lucky its the Ipswich Town fan base and not West ham Leeds Millwall etc or you would find much more hostility towards such sad and inept displays we have suffered for a few years now ,you might do well to remember that.

Scuzzer added 12:27 - Feb 21
We need to be there...thereabouts would be failure.

pennblue added 12:29 - Feb 21
It was a much improved performance yesterday, but we really need to go and take 6 points from the next 2. Reproduce yesterday, and we have a chance.

RobITFC added 12:41 - Feb 21
Utter rubbish, we should be trying for top 2 , but the club is in freefall. Evans should have sacked Lambert last year , reward him with a 5 year contract for relegation. The club is a mess and the players do not want promotion enough!!!!

Skip73 added 12:49 - Feb 21
Yep Keep drawing 0-0 and we'll be promoted! Exciting times!!

BlueandTruesince82 added 12:52 - Feb 21
I think as a player Wilson has come in for some quote harsh stick over the last 18 months but I have to say that is one huge IF isn't it, esp based on what we have seen so far.

Also what's less helpful is us playing crap every week. I can honestly say that the quickest route to stopping all of this is to not play crap on a regular basis..... that would be very helpful.

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