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Morsy Ignoring Bookies Ahead of Big Kick-Off
Friday, 29th Jul 2022 15:41

Town skipper Sam Morsy is ignoring the fact that the bookies, renowned for not getting much wrong, have made him and his colleagues the pre-season favourites to win promotion from League One.

The big kick-off comes tomorrow when Bolton visit Portman Road but although Morsy is excited about the new campaign, he is dismissing the bookies’ verdict and insisted: “What does that even mean? At the end of the day, we’ve got to play 46 games over a 10-month period and if you’re getting excited before the first one has kicked off, you’re going to be in big trouble.

“It’s about the process and what we do every week to try to win games, and it’s about trying to get on a run. But ultimately, it’s a 46-game season and there’s no point in getting excited about anything now.”

But it is hardly surprising that the bookies rate Town’s chances so highly, given the impact made by manager Kieran McKenna since he arrived in December last year and the fact that his team suffered only four defeats in a 23-game run – the equivalent of half a season – under his supervision.

Other positives include the return from injury of defender George Edmundson, who was absent from the final nine games last term, and what appears to have been some solid transfer business, helping to fire fans’ expectation and ensure an opening-day crowd of around 25,000.

Midfielder Morsy, 30, added: “The home support has been phenomenal since I arrived at the club to be honest so there’s no surprise there. Speaking to people in the local community, we all know how they are feeling about the new season and what they expect.

“You can never guarantee success but you can guarantee that effort, that running, that work rate, that commitment to the badge and I think we’ll have all that in abundance this season.”


Morsy can also point to the club’s pre-season programme as another encouraging sign. “It has been very good, to be fair, really enjoyable with lots of time on the grass and loads of sessions,” he said. “We really have spent a high volume of hours on the workload of everything you would want from a pre-season.

“We’ve been to Loughborough [University], which was really enjoyable. We did lots of activities, team bonding, working hard as a unit, so there’s a lot of togetherness in the group and it will be a big advantage going forward.

“We had last season together and we had our ups and downs as a group, which can only strengthen us. We’ve got new players that have come in, all experienced lads and good professionals. We have Tyreece [John-Jules] on loan from Arsenal, who has been brilliant and looks really sharp. It could be a breakout season for him and, overall, the team is in a good place. We’ve all worked hard and it has been very enjoyable.”

Morsy’s developing relationship with manager McKenna is another huge plus factor, with the Egyptian international explaining: “He has devoted a lot of time and energy to me and helped me with different aspects of my game and I like to think we have a fantastic relationship.

“Hopefully I can repay him with my performances and how I lead the team. We speak a lot about many different things and as a captain I’ve always played my best football when I’ve had a good personal relationship with my manager. Everyone is different but for me that’s always been important.

“If the manager shows me the right level of respect it goes without saying that I’m ready to run through a brick wall for him. He’s always been fair and if there’s anything he needs to say he has said it, whether it’s praise or criticism.

“He knows I can take it, because I want to improve, and I don’t think the relationship between us could be any stronger.”

Morsy arrived from Middlesbrough early last season and before that was with Wigan, where the club suffered by going into administration. But the player continued: “The last few years have been as enjoyable as any I’ve had in my career. Obviously, we had Wigan going into administration but before that we were one of the top performing teams in the Championship and on a great run. Obviously, administration changed things.

“At Middlesbrough I played pretty much every game I was available for and was enjoying it, while here at Ipswich it is a new journey that I’m on. I came in late last summer, which obviously wasn’t what everybody wanted, and when you have such a big influx of players it’s very tough to do something.

“If that was a model that worked Manchester City would do it every year, wouldn’t they? They’d get rid of everyone, bring in 19 new players and win the Premier League every year.

“It doesn’t work like that but what we do have now is a situation that everyone is happy about and the club is happy with. We’re moving in a good direction and in and around the training ground and on match days you can feel the energy and the togetherness, which is going to stand us in good stead for the season that is coming up.”

The fact that manager McKenna is also integrating some of the club’s most promising young talent into his senior squad is also encouraging to the skipper. He said: “I’ve really enjoyed working with them, to be honest. I’ve been part of pre-seasons where the young guys could hold the group back but not these lads. They’ve been really strong and I’ve been impressed with all of them.

“Young Cam Humphreys is a great kid, one of the nicest you could ever wish to meet. He comes in, does his job and listens, a very good professional.

“I’ve also been impressed with Corrie [Ndaba] but I didn’t know too much about him. I followed him last season when he was on loan but I didn’t know a lot and he has had a really strong pre-season.

“We’ve tied Corrie down to a three-year deal and he might go out on loan again – I’m not too sure about that – but he’s done really well and if we needed him tomorrow against Bolton he could play, absolutely no problem.

“Tommy Hughes, Tawanda [Chirewa], they’ve all had parts to play and done really well. We’ve signed the young lad, JJ [Tyreece John-Jules], from Arsenal and he’s looked excellent.

“He’s been getting fitter, stronger, faster every single week and if we can keep him fit and he stays level-headed, which I’m sure he will, he could have a really good season here.”


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Trac70 added 16:02 - Jul 29
Great interview "skipper." Sounds totally committed and is a "born leader." Now lets go and "smash" this. We all expect ups and downs but please more of the ups. COYB.
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ghostofescobar added 16:03 - Jul 29
Just hope you've been working on keeping the yellow card count down, mate!! Good luck, skip, we need you in that team every week. All sounds so promising! So excited for tomorrow! COYB!!
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