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Donacien: This League is All About Momentum
Sunday, 19th Sep 2021 11:24

Right-back Janoi Donacien believes that League One is all about momentum and hopes he and his team-mates can now build on Saturday’s first victory of the season at Lincoln City.

Macauley Bonne headed Town’s winner on the half hour, the on-loan QPR striker’s fifth of the season and his fourth in his last three games, ending a seven-league-game wait for victory.

Donacien was one of the Blues’ star performers, keeping Anthony Scully, one of Lincoln’s biggest threats, quiet throughout the afternoon.

“It felt really good to get our first win,” the St Lucia-born full-back said. “We’ve had a few close ones, but today we got over the line with some resilient defending, our positioning was terrific, as a team we defended so, so well. It felt really good.”

Had he felt the win was coming? Was it a good week in training? “I felt like the win was going to come every time we went into training, it was just getting it right on the day and before today it hasn’t gone right for us, but today it has.”

Asked whether he was surprised it had taken so long for the first win to come, he responded simply, “Yes”.

It was a performance of two halves against the Imps with the Blues playing some good football in the first before showing defensive determination in the second.

“I think we’re a good football team,” the former Accrington man insisted. “We showed that with the ball we’re fantastic in the first and showed in the second half that without the ball we’re really good.”

He added: “This league is all about momentum, you take one win at a time and you just build and you build slowly and slowly and then hopefully something good happens.”

Boss Paul Cook has endured a tough period with his father Chris having died just over a week ago, while he has admitted that football-wise he has been going through his toughest spell in management.

Donacien says the players talked about showing their manager he had their support.

“We did, we spoke about it in our chat, ‘The gaffer needs us, he needs us to back him, we need to show that we are backing the gaffer’," he said. “I think we did that and we’re so pleased for him.”

On the mood in the dressing room afterwards, he said: “Obviously the lads are buzzing, we won our first game of the season, but we want more.

“We’re happy with today but we want more, we want the whole performance, we want the first half in the second half, we want the whole performance.”

The Luton-raised defender was delighted for the 1,710 travelling fans giving the team their backing from behind the goal.

“It was very good, at the end of the game there was a sigh of relief because the whistle’s gone,” he continued. “I looked over and the fans were bouncing at the top end. It’s really good, I hope everyone gets home safe.”

That whistle came after seven minutes of added-on time. “I didn’t even know how long it was,” the 27-year-old admitted. “It felt like a long time, I didn’t even see the board.”

He believes Town can still challenge at the top of the table despite the slow start to the campaign.

“Of course, we’ve got so much quality here, all we have to do is just put it together,” he said.

Donacien was making his first league start of the season having replaced Kane Vincent-Young in the first half of last week’s 5-2 home defeat by Bolton. The two look set to battle for the position throughout the season, which the one-time Aston Villa youngster says is a good thing.

“I think there’s competition all over the pitch,” he said. “Whether it’s me and Kane, at left-back Penney and Hayden, at centre-back when Toto [Nsiala] comes back. There’s competition everywhere, which is very good, it’s healthy for the boys.

“We’ll keep working, I know he’s got my back, I’ve got his back, everyone’s got each other’s backs and we grind together, we work hard together and the end of the season will come together and hopefully we’ll be somewhere nice.”

Donacien dovetailed well with right winger Wes Burns, the two having played together last season during the right-back’s loan spell with Fleetwood, although not as often as he would have liked.

“When I went to Fleetwood, I didn’t really get to play with him as much as I wanted to, but hopefully I can do here now,” he said.

Donacien was many people’s pick as Town’s man of the match, but when asked whether he was happy with his display he remained modest.

“Yes, but it’s one win, it’s one game I want to go into the next one and carry the same form into that, and that’s it.”

The right-back was the only starter in Saturday’s side who was with the club prior to the summer.

He says he spoke with manager Paul Cook having returned from his loan and was told he would get his chance this season.

“The gaffer just said that I will play, so got my head down and just worked hard and that’s it,” he said. “I’m happy.”

Asked if he’d like to be at the club for a long time, having been signed by Paul Hurst in the summer of 2018, he said: “Hopefully, I like it here!”

Donacien can play at centre-half as well as both full-back roles, which he says counts in his favour.

“That’s a conversation I had with the gaffer as well about me playing in other positions, we’ll see what happens.”

Quizzed on whether Cook sees him primarily as a right-back, he said: “Wherever the manager sees me, if I play I’ll be over the moon, that’s it.”

Despite the summer of change, Donacien says the players have all got on well from the off.

“To be fair, from day one everyone that’s come here has been welcomed because we’re all good guys here, everyone here has been welcomed, they’ve been shown around,” he said. “It’s all fitting together.”

Has he felt like one of the elder statesmen at the club with only Luke Woolfenden having made his Town debut earlier? “It’s mad isn’t it? After Teddy left and came here [I’ve been here one of the longest] on and off.”

Despite having been at the club just over three years, yesterday was only Donacien’s 24th league start having spent time on loan back at his former club Accrington as well as with the Cod Army last season.

“It’s football, it seems to work out in that way,” he said reflecting on his Town careers. “You just work hard and then just keep persevering and you just try your hardest.”

This season Donacien has switched to wearing the number 44 shirt having worn 12 last year and two in the previous two campaigns.

“Number four is my favourite number,” he said explaining his choice. “Chambo was four last year, you don’t want to jump in there, that’s a big number, Raks [Rekeem Harper] can handle it. Forty-four’s a good number. I love it.”

Photo: TWTD

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chopra777 added 11:33 - Sep 19
The season starts now. Keep going COYB.

BlueRuin69 added 12:00 - Sep 19
Donacien has shown that no matter how far away from the team you are with hard work, attitude and belief you can get yourself back in. He should be 1st choice right back atm imo. Coyb

Oldboy added 12:01 - Sep 19
4 of our next 5 games are winnable, so we should climb the league quickly. Top 10 is achievable over the next 5 league games. Good performance yesterday, keep it going.

dirtydingusmagee added 12:03 - Sep 19
excellent effort from Janoi yesterday, deserves the praise. And now hopefully the team can come together and fight their way up the league table. COYB.

Fat_Boy_Tim added 12:11 - Sep 19
NEWS FLASH : Authorities are worried about the disappearance of Anthony Scully (22) of Lincoln. Police have asked Janoi Donacien to turn out his pockets.

Len_Brennan added 12:11 - Sep 19
Delighted for him; I always thought he was a decent player & would come good if he got a good run in the side. Maybe in time, when the team has clicked & KVY is back to full fitness, we can play with marauding full backs, throwing caution to the wind safe in the knowledge that the centre halves and defensive midfielder partnership can plug the gaps; but right now Janoi's defensive qualities are exactly what we need to help us eliminate the errors leading to soft goals.

midastouch added 12:17 - Sep 19
Listened to Donacien's interview on the radio yesterday after the game. He sounds a really likeable lad and I wish him all the luck. He said he loves it at Ipswich and he's hoping to be here for a long time.
Previously I wasn't even quite sure if he's up to standard required (as he has always seemed very much in and out of the team) but he's won me over with some of his performances this season (especially yesterday). He's clearly got a great attitude and that counts for a lot. He's very versatile.
From the Hurst signings he was one I was probably expecting the least from and yet now he's looking the best out of all of them! As Greavsie used to say, "It's a funny old game!"

blueboy1981 added 13:10 - Sep 19
Mr Dependable - Janoi Donacien.
Probably the most under estimated player at the Club - great qualities this guy !

ringwoodblue added 13:33 - Sep 19
How nice to hear from one of our players after a win!

What I liked about Janoi was that he also did his talking on the pitch yesterday so hope he goes on to make the RB position his own as KVY has been underwhelming this season


Blue_Again added 13:43 - Sep 19
This league is about momentum, who would have thought it…

Linkboy13 added 14:40 - Sep 19
He was very highly rated at Fleetwood when on loan and the experience has probably boosted his confidence. The pressure of playing for a big club like Ipswich can sometimes be difficult for players to adapt too . Delighted he is showing what he can do when given a chance.

Eddie1985 added 15:16 - Sep 19
In the end realistically automatic promotion is the aim so let's hope we have turned the corner. We have to otherwise our results and Paul cooks attitude and behaviour will be unjustified, get us promotedike I prey you do and we will all worship you like god

Suffolkboy added 16:18 - Sep 19
Very very good to read a modest but confident assessment from a chap who’s plainly gone through a ‘difficult ‘ time with our club ,never being certain where he’ll be played , if he’ll be played or perhaps if he remained ‘wanted ‘ !
Performances seem to be definitely improving, with a consistency we’d like to see from everyone - so he appears to be leading the way .
Well done yesterday JD , keep it up and show us more of the same !

SpiritOfJohn added 16:52 - Sep 19
It will be interesting to see who plays most games at right back - Janoi or Kane. KVY was one of the few players who dared to play expansive football under Lambert, and was welcomed as a breath of fresh air. By contrast Cook's team is overloaded with risk-takers, and so we may be better served by Janoi, who is able to stay at home more often and keep the back door locked. Unloved by Lambert, JD has been patient and taken his chance so far under Cook. Good luck to him - unspectacular defending is what we need right now.

cooper4england added 20:14 - Sep 19
^^^ well I messed that up with autocorrect!

ArnieM added 07:11 - Sep 20
Janoi has never, ever let this club/ team down when ever he’s been picked to play. God knows what Lambert was banging on about when he said JD wasn’t a right back! The idiot.

Janoi is a quality defender.

Europablue added 07:24 - Sep 20
Len_Brennan I think you got it spot on. As much as I like KVY, it does seem like it's not the right time for him to be playing seeing as he is injured and the rest of the defence does not have that kind of understanding. Cook's main failing was sending out a team that would leak goals. I appreciate the attacking intent, but it's best to start with a solid defence, then work from there. It's been proven that as good as our attack is, they can't score enough goals to make up for the defensive errors.

Linkboy13 added 10:44 - Sep 20
Thank god Bisho did f all otherwise we would never have heard the last of it on here.

Bazza8564 added 11:01 - Sep 20
Great performance from JD Saturday and the lads all gave us a great day out.

Lets all keep our feet on the floor and make sure we do the same things Saturday and next Tuesday in defense, and build that solidity that was so evident at Lincoln.

So proud for the boys and great to see some balance returning to the comments.


planetblue_2011 added 12:40 - Sep 20
Really pleased for Donacien he’s obviously had his ups & downs at the club not really getting a look in but now with Cook in charge he really seems up for the job & playing well, he deserves to be playin. Let’s hope he keeps it up with the rest of the team.

blues1 added 14:16 - Sep 20
Oldboy. Not sure what u mean by 4 of the bext 5 games are winnable? Every game is winnable. Especially in this league, which , like the championship, anyone can beat anybody.

grinch added 19:33 - Sep 20
Let's keep level headed if in 5 games we have won them all or at least not lost any then we get excited but next game will show if we are at last on the go Boys did great Saturday so let's hope it continues this week and we also have no new injuries great to be out of relegation zone there is only 1 way now and that is upwards

Michael101 added 20:19 - Sep 21
Brought to Ipswich by hurst,not wanted by Lambert,kept his head down & worked hard well done lad.

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