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Evans: A Fantastic Start to the Season, the Dressing Room Was Buzzing
Tuesday, 8th Aug 2023 13:10

Fit-again midfielder Lee Evans has reflected on Town’s win at Sunderland, summing up: “The dressing room was buzzing. It was a fantastic start to the new season and a fantastic occasion for the club’s first game back in the Championship for a while. It was a special one – big club away from home, backs against the wall at times, but a massive three points”.

Evans also praised the travelling army of 2,000 fans. “They were brilliant,” he added. “They were there in their numbers, which we knew they would be because they always are, and they were loud.

“We needed them for the first 20 or 25 minutes – it was a tough start for us – and the boys did brilliantly well to keep a clean sheet in that time before going on to get the three points.”

The former Welsh international had to be content with a role as an unused substitute at the Stadium of Light, but he will be in the thick of the action at Portman Road tomorrow evening when Town take on Bristol Rovers in the first round of the Carabao Cup.

It is likely to be a very different line-up to face the League One side as manager Kieran McKenna takes the chance to field his fringe players, including some who appeared from the bench at the weekend as Town started the new campaign with a hard-earned victory.

Evans’s fellow countryman, Nathan Broadhead, caught the eye with the Blues’ first goal and then set up George Hirst with an exquisite through ball to lam in a second.

“Nathan was fantastic,” said Evans. “He’s got that quality and he followed up his goal with an assist, so it was a great performance all round and he’ll give plenty more of them during the remainder of the season, I’m sure.

“As for George, we’re all absolutely delighted for him. He was a fantastic addition to the team last season and made a big impact when he came in on loan.

“Everyone was pleased when he came back on a permanent deal. I saw his interview when he said he wanted to get that first Championship goal and we all knew it would come. It was great that it came along when it did, in the first game of the season.

“Overall, the game was a real welcome back to the Championship. Obviously, I was on the bench watching it and in the first 20 minutes, with the tempo and the quality, it was like what we did to teams last season in League One.

“It was good for the boys to experience and they did well to get through that phase without conceding.

“Sunderland’s front boys were sharp; they were really good players. We knew about them from our preparations and we watched them a lot in the build-up to the game.

“But our front players are exactly the same and you saw that as the game progressed, and other teams will find that out when they come up against us.”

Despite Sunderland’s lively start, when they enjoyed the lion’s share of possession for the first 20 minutes or so, Town looked dangerous when they had the ball and moved forward, which eventually led to them netting twice either side of the break.

Evans added: “There are going to be plenty of times this season when we’ll have our backs against the wall. There are some massive clubs in this league.

“Of course, we want to get hold of the ball and dictate the game, but teams just aren’t going to let us do that and we’ll need to be strong, defensively organised, which I thought we were at the weekend, and carry a threat at the top end of the pitch.

“With the strikers we have, the wingers and the number 10s as well, I think we’ll always do that.

“We trained hard all summer and were ready to go. Whichever team the manager picks for the Bristol Rovers game, the 11 will be doing their best to get a positive result and a place in the next round.”

Town clocked up plenty of miles in pre-season with games in Preston and two trips to Austria before heading for the North East at the weekend.

“It is what it is,” Evans said. “With the new pitch being installed we knew we weren’t going to be at home, so with all the games away it obviously meant a fair bit of travelling, although we did have the one against Luton that was played at Colchester, so that wasn’t too far to go. We are all very excited to be getting back to playing at Portman Road on Wednesday.”

Photo: TWTD

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Suffolkboy added 14:31 - Aug 8
The new pitch will b a significant factor this week ,and this season ; it’s just what KM wanted and it ought to help with not only pace and consistency , but may well hel avoid some level of injuries .
Go for it buys ! COYB

ArnieM added 14:52 - Aug 8
I wonder if the players will get a run out on the new pitch b4 the next games played on it .

SurreyBlueGirl added 15:43 - Aug 8
They trained on it this morning

Bazza8564 added 10:30 - Aug 9
Well personally I simply cant wait to get back through the turnstiles tonight, it will be a much changed side but it's still an Ipswich side, and with the likes of Clarke Endmundson Taylor Evans Ladapo and Edwards playing it will be a good night i am sure

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