|Ipswich Town 2 v 1 Shrewsbury Town|
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 9th October 2021 Kick-off 15:00
Fraser: You’re Seeing Clips of What We Want to Be and What We Can Be
Sunday, 10th Oct 2021 11:39
Midfielder Scott Fraser believes Town are showing signs of the team they want to become at present as the players who joined the club in the summer continue to learn one another’s game.
Dundee-born Fraser was one of the 19 senior players who moved to Portman Road over the summer, joining from the MK Dons in his case, and has started 10 of the Blues’ 11 League One games so far.
Reflecting on Saturday’s 2-1 home victory over Shrewsbury, Fraser admitted there were highs and lows to be taken from the match.
“Probably very mixed emotions in terms of us being happy to get the three points but we need to be a lot better if we’re going to achieve things this season,” he said.
“I thought for the first 20, 25 minutes we were brilliant again. Obviously we scored through Macca [Macauley Bonne], which was offside, which I haven’t seen back, and then got our goal [via Conor Chaplin], which we deserved.
“And it’s about us kicking on, but for whatever reason we slumped back into maybe the habits from the start of the season where we let teams back in the game and gave them a confidence boost, which we really shouldn’t be doing.”
That down to a lack of confidence among the Town players? “I wouldn’t say so, no. I don’t feel that. I feel like we’ve always got a very good squad and a good 11 on the pitch and, no disrespect to Shrewsbury, we should be putting those teams away when we start the way we did. That’s a progression we need to make fast.
“Accy last week wasn’t us, for whatever reason. And it was important that the lads on Tuesday [at Gillingham in the Papa John’s Trophy] got a good one, they got obviously a very good [2-0] win for them, for us, for the club. And it was important for us to back that up today, and we did that.”
The 26-year-old says the players discussed last Saturday’s hugely disappointing 2-1 defeat and under par performance at Accrington early in the week.
“We spoke about it on Monday, spoke about it on Tuesday,” he said. “As I say, Accy wasn’t us, we want to be a team where you know what you’re going to get from us. Certainly at Accy wasn’t a team that we want to be.”
Bonne once again proved to be the Blues match-winner against the Shrews, scoring his ninth of the campaign to make the on-loan QPR man League One’s joint-top scorer alongside Morecambe’s Cole Stockton.
“Yes, he’s not bad at scoring goals, is he?” Fraser laughed. “It’s mad, he’s always in that position.
“Maybe he doesn’t get involved in the link-up play as much but that helps us in a way because he stretches the game and then that allows the team behind him to try and get space to try and get on the ball. And if he keeps scoring goals like he is, everybody will be happy.”
Quizzed on whether he is happy with his own role in the team, a narrow left-sided position, Fraser responded: “Yes, I’m still learning it, it’s the first time that I’ve played, I’d say wide, but it’s not, I’m not asked to play out wide.
“I’ve been playing left side, number eight in a 4-3-3, or in a midfield three for the past four or five seasons, that’s where I’ve probably played my best football.
“But the gaffer’s asking me to get inside, get in narrow so I’m almost in that inside left channel, which is where I’ve picked up most of my goals or assists or good play.
“We train hard every single day on it, I’m working with the coaches on the video just trying to help the team as much as I can.”
He added: “It’s a lot different from what I’m used to. As I say, I’ve played in a three-man midfield for the past four seasons, that’s where I’ve got all my goals and assists.
“It’s tough because fans or people looking in probably just see I got 14 goals and nine assists and think ‘He must be a good player’, which I am, I’ve got all the confidence in the world in my ability, and I’m learning the position every day.
“It’s a different position because it’s not quite out wide but it’s not quite like a number eight or a 10, it’s about just trying to find the space on the pitch. And I know if I find space on the pitch and I get time on the ball I can hurt teams.”
Does he feel it suits him and utilises his attributes? “Yes, it does. I rely a lot of my team-mates to get me on the ball, which we all do in terms of how we want to build up, we want to use everyone, Samy in there, we want to get the three behind the striker on the ball so they’re creating chances for each other.
“And I’ll continue to work hard in training, the more games we play, the better we’ll get.”
He says there is plenty of competition for places in that three behind Bonne: “We’ve got a lot of players who want to play in there and that can only be a good thing.
“It would be easy if we didn’t have any competition in the squad, you might go to training and think your place is a given, whereas we go in every day and you see the standard of players, passing drills, possession or whatever it is. Everybody’s on it every day and that’s only going to help us going forward.”
He says Tuesday’s performance at Gillingham illustrated the strength in depth at the club, although that shouldn’t have come as a surprise.
“Yes, we knew that already. As I say, if you’ve seen training, the standard is very good because we’ve got 28 good players in our squad.
“We’ve got boys who aren’t even on the bench at the minute who are good players and would go into most League One teams. It shows that we need to be on it every day in training and every match we play.”
Fraser was booked by referee Will Finnie in the latter stages of Saturday’s game for what the official claimed was a dive when the Scot appeared to have been tripped and he was insistent that he should have been awarded a penalty.
“Yes, I spoke to the ref and he said it seemed soft,” he said. “I don’t know how a penalty can be soft, it’s either a penalty or it’s not, for me.”
That defeat at Accrington is now the Blues’ only reverse in their last six, winning four and drawing one and Fraser believes the team is moving in the right direction as they play more football together.
“We’re 11 games in, we can only use the 19 players [coming in in the summer as a reason] for so long,” he reflected.
“But it’s tough, I’ve never played with any of the boys, I think it’s only Evo and Samy who have played together before, so you need to learn what Wes [Burns] is good at. Wes is very fast running in behind, Macca is a poacher, he’s good at that.
“Santi [Bersant Celina] when he comes back, he likes to drift about. The boys are learning about me and I’m learning about them.
“I think you’re seeing clips of what we want to be and what we can be, and it’s about us progressing that for longer.”
Meanwhile, Celina was an unused sub for Kosovo in yesterday’s 3-0 World Cup qualifying defeat in Sweden.
The Kosovans are next in action against Georgia in Pristina in another World Cup qualifier on Tuesday.
Elsewhere, Shrewsbury Town striker Ryan Bowman says he’s feeling much better this morning having been taken to hospital with heart palpitations after being subbed in the 34th minute of yesterday’s match.
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