Morsy: We Still Have Everything to Play For
Thursday, 17th Feb 2022 06:00
Skipper Sam Morsy is adamant Town can succeed in their efforts to gatecrash the play-offs and then go on to end the season on a high note by winning promotion to the Championship.
As things stand going into Saturday’s home clash with Burton Albion, the Blues are five points adrift of sixth-placed Plymouth, who also have two games in hand, but Morsy believes the gap will continue to narrow under new boss Kieran McKenna, who has won six and drawn one of his nine games in charge after succeeding Paul Cook in December.
Morsy, 30, said: “It’s not that long ago that most people had written our season off but we still have everything left to play for. It’s still on a knife-edge and we’re not in the mixer yet but if we stay consistent in terms of getting results I believe we can close the gap.
“It’s a big week for us coming up with two home games – Burton on Saturday and Cheltenham on Tuesday – and our home form has been really, really good for a number of months now.
“It’s just a case of keeping going, getting the right results and seeing where it takes you. We’re chasing other teams and we have to keep putting the pressure on them.
“Even when we were 12 points off the top six I kept saying the season wasn’t dead yet.
“We still had a lot of games left and I genuinely thought it would be possible to win enough to make it into the play-offs. If we win on Saturday at Portman Road it will feel like a big win for us and then on to the next one.”
Morsy returned to action in last week’s goalless stalemate at Milton Keynes Dons after serving a four-game ban for an off-the-ball incident in the home win over Accrington Stanley and admitted being back in the starting line-up was a major fillip.
“It felt great,” he said. “I’m not one to sort of moan and complain about the situation. I just looked at the positive side of it, did a lot of extra work in training and made sure I was up to speed when the manager wanted me to come back into the side.
“When we were training it all felt pretty normal but when game day came round, and I had to sit the game out, that was when it really sunk in.
“One thing I’ve learned is that it’s harder watching than playing, but with experience you learn how to handle it, to rein it in, wait for your time to come and be ready when it does.
“It’s the same whether you are injured, suspended or whatever; players want to play and just hate missing games and I’m no exception.”
Morsy’s trademark is his combative, uncompromising style in the middle of the park, combined with his eagerness to get on the ball and make things happen. It has served him well throughout his career but the down side has been the yellow, and sometimes red, cards that have been brandished in his direction.
When he joined Town from Middlesbrough at the end of the summer transfer window he was forced to miss three league games after collecting a red card in his last game for his previous club, which delayed his debut until the 6-0 home thrashing of lowly Doncaster.
But in his 24 appearances in all competitions for Town this season he has collected 11 yellow cards - seven in the league with 10 leading to a two-game ban until after the 37th match - a record that reflects his desire to win and underlines his competitive nature.
Asked if he was competitive at everything, he replied: “I wouldn’t say everything, but definitely football and things I am passionate about. I’ve always had that passion and drive as far as football is concerned.
“With my mentors, when I was growing up, it was all about that. When I look back to my days at Wolves, it was Tony Lacey, Les Green and Chris Evans, and it was all about the competitiveness.
“When I moved on to Port Vale it was Micky Adams and you didn’t have a choice because if he thought you had pulled out of a tackle you would be sent in from training.
“It was a bit different from the modern era but that’s how it was when I was growing up. You just weren’t allowed to not be competitive. I was fortunate because I had it naturally and my career path was driven by it.
“I don’t think I will ever change to be honest. It was an unfortunate incident in the game against Accrington but these things do happen. I just have to put it to the back of my mind now and continue to play my normal game.”
Morsy, who collected nine yellow and one red card last season with Middlesbrough, was asked if he felt he had become a marked man with referees. He added: “There are occasions when I’ve committed my first foul in a game and the yellow card has come out, which I find disappointing, but I’m not in control of that so I’ll just focus and continue to do what I do.”
Meanwhile, Morsy has confirmed he would like to play his way back into the Egyptian international squad. Capped seven times so far, he was left out by manager Carlos Queiroz for the recent Africa Cup of Nations tournament that saw the Pharaohs, who have won the competition a record seven times, finish as runners-up.
He said: “It was incredible. I knew the final would be a really tough game because Senegal are such a good team. But Egypt did incredibly well to reach the final and when it went to penalties I was thinking ‘This could be it’. Sadly, it wasn’t to be but they did the country proud.
“There wasn’t a huge amount of expectation going into the tournament so to get to the final, albeit not winning it, was a really good achievement. I’m still keen to be involved with Egypt and I know how it works.
“The scouts are always watching and I need to play as well as I can for Ipswich as we look to reach the play-offs. I just have to do the best I can and you never know, but I’m still hopeful.”
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