Being a dad helped Freddie Sears get through his 38-game goal drought

Freddie Sears and son Jax pictured on the pitch after the Ipswich Town v Milton Keynes Dons (Champio

Freddie Sears and son Jax pictured on the pitch after the Ipswich Town v Milton Keynes Dons (Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 30 April 2016. Picture: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Being a dad helped Freddie Sears switch off from football during his recent 38-game goalless spell.

The 26-year-old striker, who has been playing a selfless role on the wing, finally bagged his first goal since December last year in Tuesday night’s 2-0 home win over Burton.

And it was his two sons – two-year-old Jax and Jake, who was born in August – who kept his spirits up.

“They were always a getaway for me,” he said. “It’s nice to go home and switch off from it a little bit.

“Everywhere I go it’s football, football, football. That’s all anyone wants to talk to me about.

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“It’s nice to go home and just be a dad to two kids. One minute you’re a footballer at work, the next you’re at home being Spiderman! It’s good.”

Sears scored 13 goals in his first 29 appearances for the Blues following his January switch from Colchester United, but was then converted into a hard-working wide player by manager Mick McCarthy. He’s scored three in his last 55 outings.

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“I’ve been playing different positions, which has probably hindered me a bit when it’s come to scoring goals,” said Sears, who described his midweek goal as a ‘weight of the shoulders’ and the joyous team celebration which followed it as a ‘special moment’.

“I’m a centre forward and I’d love to be playing 4-4-2 with a big man, but that’s a dying art nowadays. That formation is not as popular as it once was.”

Asked what it’s been like to play wide for the last 18 months, he replied: “Different! I filled in there a couple of times for West Ham and Colchester, but I was a lazy winger, as they say. The gaffer won’t let you get away with that here though. You’ve got to work a bit harder and help the full-back out. I’ve virtually been left-back at times!

“I don’t think anyone who watches the games can say I don’t try hard and don’t put myself about. I check the running stats after every game and I always run the most, with the most intensity. Normally it’s about 10 to 11 kilometres a match.

“I want to play for Ipswich Town and if that’s what I’ve got to do then that’s what I’ve got to do.

“I’ll play wherever I’m selected and wherever the gaffer wants me to play. He’s gone on record saying I bring something different to the team and I think if you ask most of the boys in there they’d say I bring a lot to the team too.”

He added: “It’s improved other parts of my game. Last year I had nine assists, which I’ve never had before.

“At the end of the day I’m a striker being judged playing wide left. That’s football though, I can deal with that. Hopefully I can kick on now and get a few more goals and put this behind me.”

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