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Judge: I Think It’s Just That Bit of Confidence
Tuesday, 6th Apr 2021 13:37

Midfielder Alan Judge believes a lack of confidence is behind the Blues’ recent under par form and knows they have to show much more going forward than they did in yesterday’s dour 0-0 draw away against bottom club Rochdale.

In the eight games since new manager Paul Cook took charge, Town have won only twice, have drawn three and lost three.

Reflecting on the 0-0 draw at Dale, Judge said: “Stalemate, to be honest with you. I don’t think either team had much quality going forward.

“I think it was just one of those games. If you were here you could see the conditions weren’t the greatest but that’s not really an excuse, it wasn’t good enough going forward from either team.”

Judge came closest to scoring for the Blues when his first-half shot flew narrowly wide: “I thought it was going in and then it just moved away at the last minute. I think that sums it up, one shot is not good enough, is it?”

Town are 20th in a goals scored League One table having netted only 41 times this season and the 32-year-old says it’s something Cook is trying to address on the training field.

“The gaffer’s implementing a few different things and we’re trying to get them into the game, find the pockets here and there,” he said.

“But sometimes you just have to play to the conditions and we would have wanted to get it down a bit more today but the conditions [had an impact on] the game, but we need to be better going forward.”

Having defeated second-bottom Bristol Rovers 2-1 on Good Friday, Judge admits that not beating bottom side Rochdale was a missed opportunity to build some momentum.

“Yes, exactly,” he said. “I thought we were going to nick it at the end there with Josh [Harrop] when it just sat up on him and the lad’s made a great tackle at the last gasp.

“But we’re unbeaten [over Easter], we drew here today, we won our last game, we walk on to the next game and we still believe we can do it, there’s eight games left.”

Reflecting on the overall picture, just over a month after new boss Cook replaced Paul Lambert, he said: “We’re implementing the gaffer’s style, it’s taking a bit of time. The gaffer’s worked out he probably doesn’t have certain personnel he wants to play his way, which we’ve heard him say.

“But he knows we’re giving him everything and he knows he’s got an honest bunch of lads in there.”

Is that difficult to do at this stage of the season? “Players have to adapt, we have to adapt and, as I said, the manager’s has a certain way of playing and we have to adapt to it. He’ll soon find out who he can trust and who he can’t.”

The Dubliner insists the players are up to the job in hand but are lacking self-belief at the present time.

“I think it’s just our confidence, you know, believing,” he said. “We are good players, I think it’s just that bit of belief.

“We’ve taken a bit of stick and I think probably rightly so in certain things but we’ve been hit and hit and hit but we believe we are good enough.

“I think it’s just that bit of confidence, to take the ball on the run, not to be afraid to break the lines, play passes into the forward players, stuff like that. Confidence is massive.”

He added: “I think maybe we’re a bit tentative. We’ve got brave players, we definitely have brave players but sometimes we’re just a bit tentative. Not looking for someone else to do it but we’ve got to start taking that responsibility, all of us, not just one player, all of us.”

Cook said after yesterday’s game that if Town continue to pick up two points a game, as they have over Easter, then that ought to be good enough to keep them in the hunt. Judge concurs.

“As the manager says that’s two points every game you’re racking up,” he said. “So we just crack on to the next game. We’ve got two fixtures, big ones, MK and then Wimbledon, and we go from there. You pick up four points there and you never know where that leaves you.

“I’m not sure what way the games in hand are at the minute but we don’t want to be running out of games either.

“MK and then Wimbledon on the Tuesday, hopefully we’ll pick up four to six points and that will be great.”

Are the players keeping a close eye on the table with the Blues eighth, three points from the top six following Monday’s match.

“It’s hard not to be table watching, let’s be honest,” he added. “But we still believe it. I know the fans aren’t happy with what they see sometimes but these aren’t easy places to come. These teams, they’re grafting to stay in the league.

“I think the main thing as well was we didn’t lose it, we didn’t go gung-ho, the manager was pretty adamant about that, that we don’t lose the game when it comes to the last 10 minutes. Not what we wanted, but we’ll go on to the next game.”

Does the team believe they can make the play-offs? “Yes, we do, certainly, especially when you come away. I know Rochdale are at the bottom and we’ve come away with a point but it’s not an easy place to come.

“We’ve just got to keep believing, keep going and hopefully, the football is getting better, it wasn’t great today but I think even in the Bristol Rovers game there were signs of it. The manager wants to play a high press with high intensity and we want to get that.”

In terms of his own game, he says he likes the role he’s played over the last couple of games, to some degree a number 10 but with other responsibilities.

“With the way we’re setting up at the moment it’s covering eight, 11, 10 positions, but I don’t mind it,” he said. “The gaffer wants to get me inside more and then out of possession to get back in and get in front of Wardy [Stephen Ward] .

“There’s a lot to do work-wise, but I don’t mind that and I think he knows that I’m that type of lad.”

Judge has scored four goals this season, only top scorer James Norwood, seven, and Gwion Edwards and Jon Nolan, five, have netted more. The nine-times-capped Republic of Ireland international says he can grab more and new boss Cook is encouraging him to get into positions where he can do so.

“The manager’s got me into a lot more better positions to get me higher up the pitch,” he said. “I don’t have to come deep for it really. I’m getting more shots off and he wants me to have more shots and that’s what I’m trying to do.

“I maybe should have scored against Plymouth when I got the pull-back from Kayden but the thing is I’m getting in those positions now.”

Norwood is currently out with a thigh problem and Judge says the Blues have been unfortunate with injuries to their front players throughout the season.

“I think we’ve been pretty unlucky up front with how our front boys have been picking up injuries here, there and everywhere, a bit unlucky for them,” he continued.

“Nors has been unlucky, Kayden’s had his injury problems, hopefully they’ve gone, Oli’s had his, they’re gone, Aaron’s come back, so we’re hoping they’ll be the last [injury problems they’ll have]. Troy’s been away for the last 10 days [with Ireland] so it’s good to get him back.”

The Blues have been much better at the back with only four League One sides having conceded fewer than 38 they’ve shipped this season. Yesterday’s clean sheet was their 15th of the season, the joint-fourth best in the division, with three having come since Cook took over.

“One thing is that if we’re not scoring, we don’t give many away and we could have nicked it at the end possibly with Josh, he was unlucky, he didn’t see the lad come back,” Judge said.

“It’s hard because we’re giving everything we can but we know we can be better and that’s the frustrating thing for us at the moment.”

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pennblue added 13:47 - Apr 6
For me, Judge has been our top performer this season.

wewerefamous added 13:48 - Apr 6
They just keep wheeling them out. Bottom line is we’re just not good enough. Delusional if he thinks we’ll make the playoffs, let alone win it. Time to face up to reality and hopefully rebuild for next season. So disappointed in what we’ve become.

ringwoodblue added 13:54 - Apr 6
Judgey - sorry you drew the short straw to do the player post-match interview this week. I haven’t read your comments cos I’ve seen them all before from Chambo, Ward, Bish, Doz et al.

To not have a single shot on target in any match is atrocious but to not have any against the bottom team is inexcusable

Ipswichbusiness added 13:55 - Apr 6
On Friday we won a football match, beating Bristol Rovers. Luke Chambers put himself in front of the media. He declared how much he wanted to stay with this club and boasted about how the manager had huge faith in him saying “... he [Paul Cook] just tries to let me manage this group as much as possible ...”.

On Monday we played Rochdale. They are bottom of the division, they have conceded 69 goals, yet we drew 0-0 without managing a shot on target. Where is Mr Chambers? Alan Judge is sent out instead.

This is an example of the failure of leadership at this club (but let’s be nice and give him another contract).

Radlett_blue added 14:00 - Apr 6
If "giving the manager everything" produces 9 points from 8 games, we have a bit of a problem, don't we?

Sixto6 added 14:00 - Apr 6
When he says “recent under par form” I take it he means the last 3 years !

buzbyblue added 14:03 - Apr 6
Same sh! t, different turd.......

Timefliesbyintheblue added 14:10 - Apr 6
Ipswichbusiness - let us agree on one thing; the display on Monday was awful, just when there was still a glimmer of hope of making the play offs.
However this continual griping of Chambers is now way over the top. Our defence has been superb this and last season considering the pressure it is always under. Our inability to create and score goals has been our problem for a long, long time now and yet it is Chambers that continually gets the stick. Imagine for one moment that he had made the error that lead to Bristol Rovers goal and not Dozzell, it would have been unremitting.
There is nothing wrong with our defence of which he is part. Is he coming to the end of his career, yes; does he deserve the stick he gets so often, no.
Now which bit if this do you not understand - we have one of the best defences in the division and possibly the worst set of attacking players.

Tractor_Boy_in_HK added 14:12 - Apr 6
“I think it’s just our confidence, you know, believing...We are good players, I think it’s just that bit of belief."

No mate, it's been the same for three years now. The team is not full of good players and it is not just confidence.


victorywilhappen added 14:15 - Apr 6

trncbluearmy added 14:16 - Apr 6
No it`s a lack of ability, had a enough of this group of players, they have had plenty of chances to redeem themselves, time nearly here for a mass clear out

TimmyH added 14:24 - Apr 6
ITFC media - 'who can we wheel for out the post match interview as we did literally nothing all game? how about Judgey as he had an actual shot at goal'? - 'yes great choice'

Alan says 'one of those games' but most matches we're witnessing are like this, strange he thinks it's a confidence thing, I just think they're a bunch of bottlers now we've come to the crunch end of the season.

ArnieM added 14:40 - Apr 6
Ok so confidence is diodes to be low according to the players . Why? They e hardly been losing game after game have they ... we’re still within striking distance of top six. It wasn’t that long ago we beat some of the top 6, so what’s the REAL reason cuz I don’t by this confidence excuse . It’s BS!

What they are really worried about is the fact they’re out of contract and expect to be on the player unemployed heap in 8 weeks time.

So START PLAYING FOR A NEW ONE THEN!!! Because from where I’m sitting not one of them is busting a gut to prove they deserve to remain a Town player .

The whole lot of them make me sick . Get your fingers out. Stop making excuses and put in a proper performance . If you can’t do that then you’re not good enough for this Club and sling yer hook , the lot of you. You’ve all had long enough to “ prove” something.

You’re not good enough .

BeattiesBackPocket added 14:48 - Apr 6
You could just reprint the same interview every week for the past 4 years and put a different face to it. This club gets worse and worse whilst I don’t expect judge or anyone to say anything different it’s really really boring now! Less talk more action would be great!
And pennblue he’s been one player who has massively under achieved since signing. Now again he hasn’t been anywhere near that player he was when at Brentford as a club they’re pretty good at judging players hence the money they seem to make every year and how we finally want to follow their design so if they got rid without a fee like Douglas it’s a pretty good indication he wasn’t as good anymore. He has probably had about a handful of games where he’s been different class since signing so not sure what games you’ve been watching this season

MickMillsTash added 14:53 - Apr 6
it's a difficult interview. A more honest assessment might be ''we've got not hope, we've been poor all season because the players are not good enough. We were lucky that Lamberts ineptness kept the focus off us, but now he's gone the games up - it's for all to see. How we're even close to the play offs shows how rubbish this league is'

Barty added 15:04 - Apr 6
What a load of boll***s

herobobby added 15:06 - Apr 6
Honestly Judge

‘We are unbeaten over Easter’

Now I have heard it all 😡

ChrisR added 15:48 - Apr 6
Good point that Judge is not up to his Brentford level , and they dont make big mistakes signing or releasing players. Our signings and selling since Keane have been mostly awful , and the current Hurst bunch League 1 standard only if that! This record just reflects the management of the Club at all levels , really hard to see a way forward from here !!
Hate to dig this up , but how good Bobby R was at signing players , we just got spoiled then.

SheptonMalletBlue added 16:01 - Apr 6
Rochdale, not an easy place to come to? They've only won one home game all season!!!!!!!
Utter cobblers!!!!!!

Barty added 16:17 - Apr 6
Perhaps he meant its not a easy place to get to !!!!!!

Lathers added 16:17 - Apr 6
Maybe the past few seasons have taken their toll on me, but I don’t remember hating an ITFC player before, but I literally cannot stand Alan Judge. His demeanour and playing style winds me up so much and he’s so overrated. When he receives the ball with his back to goal he always panics and gets rid of it without getting his head up even if he’s in space. He regularly slows up possession when we are on the attack and passes the ball backwards more times than forwards. His weight of pass is shocking, his decision making isn’t too clever either and I’ve lost count of how many times he’s given the ball away or played it straight out of touch this season. He’s always falling or slipping over too. I’m not surprised Drysdale wanted to chin him.

dirtydingusmagee added 16:19 - Apr 6
wish they would save their breath for playing, we were unbeaten over Easter by the bottom two ,well i guess that must be glimmer of hope.If they put as much effort into playing as they do bleeting in these interviews we may get somewhere.Just get these out of Town .

barrystedmunds added 16:20 - Apr 6
I wish! If our only problem was a lack of confidence I feel sure we’d all accept that, but they may think we’re fools but we know it’s a whole lot deeper than a confidence thing !

phillev231069 added 16:22 - Apr 6
Basically you all need to grow a pair!

Michael101 added 16:24 - Apr 6
We know that.don't need a over paid player to tell us what we have been seeing for over 5 years now.

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