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Wilson: We Weren't Really Ready to Get Promoted
Friday, 21st May 2021 12:36

Departed Blues centre-half James Wilson, who agreed to join Plymouth Argyle yesterday, says he’ll look back fondly on his two years at Portman Road and admits Town weren’t ready to get promoted.

Wilson, 32, was released earlier in the month and will move to the Pilgrims on a two-year deal once his Town terms are up at the end of June.

“I look back on it really fondly,” the once-capped-Wales international told the Plymouth Herald when asked about his time with Town.

“It was frustrating at times. We had a massive squad and the manager [Paul Lambert] was always tinkering with the team.

“But when I did play I really enjoyed it so I think that’s what you have got to take away from it.

“I think we underachieved in terms of the fans’ eyes, but if you look at the squad on paper we weren’t really ready to get promoted.

“We did okay, we did alright. That side of it was frustrating as well but I definitely enjoyed my time there.”

Reflecting on his release, he added: “When the new manager [Paul Cook] came in he said pretty early that he wanted his own players and he was very honest about it.

“Look, I’m not precious about it. It is what it is. It has happened before to people. I wasn’t happy leaving but, at the same time, it was a new chapter so I’m looking forward to it.”

Wilson, who fans voted 2020/21’s Player of the Year, says his move to Home Park happened very swiftly with Fleetwood Town, Gillingham and Bristol Rovers also believed to have been keen to recruit him this summer.

“It came about really quick, literally as soon as the season finished we were in touch,” he said. “It means we can come down and have a proper look about and find somewhere to live.

“I have moved in July and August sometimes before and it’s a nightmare trying to logistically sort it.

“I have got a wife and daughter and they will be coming with me. We have moved a lot over the years so they are used to it by now.

“Bristol is not far, I grew up playing there, and one of my friends went to university in Plymouth so I spent quite a few nights out down here. It’s a nice place.”

Regarding manager Ryan Lowe, he added: “He has been great. When he rang me, initially we talked about football for ages - how he wanted to play, what he wanted to do this season and the kind of players he wanted to bring in.

“I got off the phone and said to my wife it sounded great. He’s really enthusiastic, it’s what you want in a manager so I’m looking forward to it.”

Elsewhere, the Huddersfield Examiner reports that Huddersfield Town are closing in on the signing of former Blues striker Jordan Rhodes, who had also been linked with a return to Portman Road.

The Championship Terriers, who Rhodes joined from Town in 2009, had always been viewed as favourites for his signature. The 31-year-old departure from Sheffield Wednesday was confirmed yesterday.

Photo: Matchday Images

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OwainG1992 added 12:45 - May 21
Best of luck to Wilson.
A real hard working proper defender.
We've paid much more in wages on much worse players than him in the past!

HighgateBlue added 12:49 - May 21
I'm a fan of Wilson, and what he says is right. However, I think "ready" just means "good enough". It's not like we had a divine right, with those players, to get promoted at some point. We didn't. We get three points for a win just like everyone else, we don't get more for being a big club or for being expected to go back up. We need to earn it by being good enough. Best of luck to Wilson, I'd have kept him, but in Cook we trust.

Bazza8564 added 12:58 - May 21
Good luck fella, you always gave 100% and im a little surprised PC let you go, but you deserve to be playing regularly and its pointless wasting your last few years sitting on the bench. I'm sure all Town fans will give you a great reception when you come back with PA.

not_a_witty_name added 13:19 - May 21
“When the new manager [Paul Cook] came in he said pretty early that he wanted his own players and he was very honest about it.
Explains why the players stopped playing. Seems they were only playing for themselves and not the club or the fans

ArnieM added 13:20 - May 21
Agreed “ ready” = good enough , which that squad clearly wasn’t and nor would it have ever been . Most of the squad simply weren’t fit enough physically and certainly were mentally very very weak .

No leaders, no believers , no responsibility taken by the players ever, either individually or collectively.

Good luck to them at their new clubs . Many will be able to “ hide” there I suspect .

ElephantintheRoom added 13:34 - May 21
Great man management to come to a club 'in touch with the play-offs' at the sharp end of the season with nothing but games against poorer clubs, whilst everyne else is playing each other..... and demoralise and demotivate your entire staff. And still there are comments blaming the players. Mind you some people vote Tory.

Jugsy added 13:38 - May 21
ElephantintheRoom - pinch of salt to these comments. Cook let him go so he was hardly going to say 'what a great coach'. Tbh, most of these players have had enough chances over the last two seasons, I'm not going to complain with an overhaul. Wilson is just an 'ok' defender, let's measure Cook on who he brings in and how they do rather than on who he lets go.

Linkboy13 added 13:38 - May 21
Can't make my mind up about Wilson he was ok but never really dominated enough on crosses in the box. We've haven't really had a dominating centre back since the likes of Jason De vos. Gareth Mcauley born leaders at the back.

ButchersBrokenNose added 13:51 - May 21
ElephantintheRoom - I'm with you. Yes, there's something to be said for Cook being candid and not lying to the players about their future, but he was hired to manage the last quarter of our season, so surely his goal should have been to get us into the play-offs. In the end, we missed out by four points, and I put that down to him now

It's not just our disappointment at another medicore season; he's made a rod for his own back next season. I say he has until Christmas to get us established in the top four or the new owners will be looking for someone else to shepherd their investment.

sospier added 13:57 - May 21
Bradley has turned us down to stay at Luton.Rhodes turns us down to sign for Huddersfield.Hope this is not signs of things to come.

BlueNomad added 14:00 - May 21
Butcher's Nose - The rebuild is going to be a gradual process. Imagine trying to do it having just scraped through the play offs this year. Next season and relegation would have pushed us back down in more ways than one. I'd sooner see the rebuild in L1.

vanmunt added 14:11 - May 21
Its a shame the ignore button only works on the forum and not on the comments on the news stories.

runningout added 14:45 - May 21
We’d do well to forget last season and probably several seasons back

bluesman added 14:57 - May 21
Cook has shown us how he can take a team apart

budgieplucker added 14:58 - May 21
James probably did a decent enough job as what initially was seen as a bit of a makeshift signing.

Even though he had a few spells injured, in comparison to the rest of the squad we probably got fair value for money out of his contract.

An honest enough guy and a good signing for PA, will be warmly welcomed by fans when he returns to PR with Argyle. We do though need new tough and experienced blood in the back four. Sure Bradley has used the discussions with Town to drive up his value and contract renewal at Luton ( but who wouldn’t) getting Championship level experience to come to PR is not going to be easy, or certainly getting ten to a dozen new players in by 20th June to have time to build a new team for the new season.

Will be interesting to see if there is the right chemistry between Cook and Ashton, with the former Brizzle CEO having interviewed Cook for the job only to conclude PC was not a good fit for the Robins culture!!!!

Steelmonkey added 15:20 - May 21
Yes thought he was our best player last season, however that statement probably sums up what has been wrong with the team, why would a team not be ready to be promoted!

istanblue added 15:38 - May 21
Is this a dig at Lambert? Or a comment about the weak mentality/ability of the squad? Either way, he's right.

atty added 15:58 - May 21
Some saying the rebuild is going to be gradual. Not sure how that works when Cook has told most of they can leave. Doubtful they’ll go in the window, so we’re stuck with players who know they’re not wanted. If they do all go it’s going to have to be a big and hurried rebuild. I do hope that Cook has played this right.

atty added 16:01 - May 21
Correction “ doubtful they’ll ALL go in the window”

chepstowblue added 16:03 - May 21
I think anybody with a hole in their backside knew we weren't ready or anywhere near good enough. In my eyes our football was more akin to league2 than the championship. I think the restructuring of the squad will be very slow, and I'm not convinced that the personnel that we bring in will be any better than last seasons failures. I can't see us attracting anybody that will make us serious contenders. Cook has a very difficult job. I can see it being a summer of snubs and having to settle for those who no one else wants.

Linkboy13 added 16:22 - May 21
Yes it's dead easy to knock a building down. But its bloody hard to rebuild it.

prozach added 17:45 - May 21
Not ready for promotion? Nah, don't believe it for a second, James

PortmanTerrorist added 18:00 - May 21
As people leave, we may start to hear from them the story of why we could not find 11 able bodied men out of our giant squad who could challenge for promotion, as Mr Wilson is being far too polite for my liking !

Clearly a decent chap, but we have to be hoping we are setting our sights higher, and certainly not worried about losing out on Rhodes either, as cannot believe we were ever any where near considering him, if a statistical model was genuinely being applied!

Skip73 added 19:37 - May 21
No sh1t sherlock!

Tractorboy1985 added 21:52 - May 22
Elephantintheroom= 🛎 end... labour leftie at its finest! Not sure who’s more embarrassing.. yourself your Kier 😂😂😂

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