Jeffers: Loads of Positives Going Forward, Dobra Was Special
Tuesday, 27th Jul 2021 22:27
First-team coach Franny Jeffers felt there were loads of positives going forward as the Blues drew 3-3 at Colchester, citing Armando Dobra’s display as his main highlight.
Joe Pigott, Macauley Bonne and Wes Burns scored their first goals for Town, while ex-Blues Tommy Smith, Frank Nouble and Alan Judge were on target for the U’s.
The game was a competitive and sometimes feisty affair for a friendly, which Jeffers wasn’t surprised by.
“Two local teams, so you’re always going to get that,” he said. “But we have to look at the bigger picture I feel.
“Loads of positives going forward, certainly attacking. It looked like the lads are getting the shape, we looked a real threat all night, I felt. Loads of positives to take from the game.
“We’ve so many new players, a new way of playing. For us it was the bigger picture, it was about seeing positives coming out, building every game.
“I think there were certainly improvements in every game, from Dartford to Fulham to Crystal Palace and then tonight. I thought we were a real threat going forward tonight.
“Obviously the goals you concede are always disappointing, you don’t want to concede goals whether it be pre-season, whether it be a training match.
“But there are a load of new lads in there, we’ll have a look at the set plays, we’ll tweak things and if we’re going to concede from set plays, you want to do it pre-season because you want to see where the problems are. Loads of positives moving forward.”
Reflecting further on set pieces with the first two Colchester goals having come via that route, he added: “You have to deal with them, you know you’re going to come up against set plays, various of them, there are going to be loads of different things going on.
“The lads have to take responsibility for that. You have to give them a set-up but they have to take responsibility themselves on the pitch.
“But, the time to make mistakes, especially things like that, is tonight. To move forward, loads of pleasing things I feel, and on to Millwall on Saturday.”
Former striker Jeffers was pleased that fellow frontmen Pigott and Bonne opened their Blues goals accounts.
“I was just saying before, whether it’s a training match, whether it’s a pre-season friendly, strikers love scoring goals, strikers get confidence from scoring goals. I thought they combined really well those two,” he said.
“They’re two new lads to the group. Then there’s Scott Fraser, who’s a new lad, Rekeem Harper, you can go through a lot, we’ve got a lot of new players.
“I thought the really positive thing tonight was going forward, we looked a real threat, we looked like we had a bit of everything, penetration, lads playing in the pockets.
“And I felt tonight it was a pleasure to watch young Dobra. I must single him out. There were good performances all over the pitch going forward, but I thought young Dobra was special tonight.
“He has impressed me in training. He’s got loads of ability. He has to get his numbers better in terms of creating chances and scoring goals, that’s something that I’ve spoken to him about, something that Gary [Roberts], [Ian] Craney, the gaffer, we’re all on at him about, but if we can get him the ball in those danger areas and he can start producing for us, he’ll be some player.”
In addition to Pigott and Bonne, the Blues were able to bring James Norwood and Kayden Jackson off the bench in the second half.
“The manager wants options,” Jeffers continued. “You’ve certainly got a bit of everything there.
“There won’t be four better strikers in the league I’d say, so we’ve got options. They’re competing for the shirt, aren’t they? We’ll see what happens.”
Can two of them play in this team? “That’s not my decision, obviously the gaffer will make that decision. We’ll see what happens. If anyone can play as the 10 or in behind the striker it’s probably Joe Pigott, the others are probably more off the shoulder, but who knows?
“You want options, don’t you? We’ve got Scott Fraser who can play in behind, young Dobra, Conor Chaplin joins the group, he’s going to be some addition.
“We’ve got loads of options all over the pitch now. We’ve got a strong squad, it’s about moving forward.”
Chaplin signed today along with centre-half George Edmundson and Jeffers says everyone at the club was delighted with those additions, the ninth and 10th of the summer.
“We’re buzzing, new faces lift everything, two quality young players, lads that will bring real quality, more competition for places, which is very, very important at a club like Ipswich,” he said.
“I think it’s important that Ipswich got back to signing good players. I’m not disrespecting anyone over the past few years, but I feel they stopped signing good players, and they’re back doing that now. Let’s see where it takes us."
Jeffers, who had a successful loan spell at Town in 2007, says he’s delighted to be back.
“I love it here, I loved playing here and I always said one of the biggest mistakes I made was not signing for Jim [Magilton]. Jim’s told me that many a time, by the way,” he laughed.
“I love playing here, it’s a massive football club and we need to get back to where we belong.”
Firm Evertonian Jeffers is living with another of the club’s new coaches, Ian Craney, a staunch Liverpool supporter and he says so far relations have remained cordial.
“We’ve been alright because it’s pre-season,” he said. “I can’t wait for the first derby, that might be interesting. We’ve got two blues, two reds, me and Gary are big blues, the gaffer and Craney are big reds. The first Merseyside derby should be interesting, shouldn’t it?”
Elsewhere, Blues target Hayden Coulson was left out of the Middlesbrough side which was beaten 2-1 at York City this evening.
As reported yesterday, Coulson's loan move to the Blues is on hold due to a lack of left-sided options at Boro at present.
Photo: Matchday Images
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