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Kings of Anglia Issue 9 Magazine Offer

Big interview: Skuse on Lambert impact, applause for Roberts and the pain of relegation

PUBLISHED: 11:40 09 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:42 09 November 2018

Ipswich Town midfielder Cole Skuse has experienced the pain of relegation before with Bristol City. Photo: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town midfielder Cole Skuse has experienced the pain of relegation before with Bristol City. Photo: Steve Waller

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich Town are five points adrift at the foot of the Championship table. Midfielder Cole Skuse talks about the impact of new boss Paul Lambert, an impromptu round of applause for Jordan Roberts and not wanting to experience the pain of relegation again.

Elliott Bennett and Cole Skuse go shoulder to shoulder in Ipswich Town's season-opener against Blackburn. Photo: Steve WallerElliott Bennett and Cole Skuse go shoulder to shoulder in Ipswich Town's season-opener against Blackburn. Photo: Steve Waller

ON LAMBERT IMPACT

It has been very, very good. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before but I’m going through some coaching badges and doing bits and bobs myself. I’ve got a notebook at home that I keep notes in and the pages are filling up quite quickly.

He’s been very good from day one; from the way he has conducted himself to the delivery of his presentations, both on and off the field, which have been top class.

MORE: The Ipswich players who could emerge from the shadows and offer Lambert a vital boost

The coaches from the U23, U18 and U16 groups have sat in and watched stuff and they have come away thinking ‘we’re quite a way off where he is’.

Since he’s come in he has been nothing but positive and has given us a real boost.

ON ‘COMICAL’ MOMENTS

He’ll call various people in, one by one, and have individual meetings, but most days we have had group meetings and they have probably gone on longer than he has anticipated they would.

It’s because he is talking to people and having banter with them within the group, which has been very comical at times to be honest.

MORE: ‘He’s a huge talent’ – Lambert says Lankester could start the odd game

Today, for example, it was one of the staff’s birthday and he was mentioning maybe bringing in some eggs and flour to bake a cake. It didn’t materialise but it should have.”

Paul Lambert's first game in charge of Ipswich Town was a 1-1 home draw against Preston last weekend. Photo: Steve WallerPaul Lambert's first game in charge of Ipswich Town was a 1-1 home draw against Preston last weekend. Photo: Steve Waller

He’s getting to know us, as well as we are getting to know him, and that doesn’t happen overnight. But it’s been all good.

ON PRESTON PERFORMANCE

I’m not speaking on behalf of everyone, but from a personal point of view I’m up for every game and I try my utmost in every game.

The lads here are very honest and I’m sure they would all say the same, but we went into that game with a bit of freshness.

I don’t know if it was just new manager syndrome or the fact that our training sessions beforehand had been tapered differently, but I think it was clear for everyone to see.

MORE: ‘Great legends of the club should never be dismissed’ – Lambert on meeting with Burley, Butcher and Wark

Even on the school run, when I was speaking to some of the mums and dads, they were saying it was a very good performance.

You could see a lot of things, like the patterns we had been practicing, were coming off so on the whole we thought it was a very good performance.

But as much as we could take some positives out of the game, we were disappointed not to get the three points.

ON FREDDIE SEARS

Freddie Sears fires Town into a 1-0 lead against Preston from the penalty spot. Photo: Steve WallerFreddie Sears fires Town into a 1-0 lead against Preston from the penalty spot. Photo: Steve Waller

We weren’t just pleased for Freddie to get his goal but with the way he reacted as soon as the penalty was given. He was ballsy enough to go and grab the ball and say ‘I’m having this’. Being in the position we are in that’s no mean feat.

MORE: Lambert wants a striker in January, but knows goal problem needs to be fixed before then

He took it upon his shoulders to go and get the goal we needed at the time. Fair play to him and as much as we were over the moon for him that he scored, it also showed a sign of his true character that he was willing to take the responsibility like that.

We’re not hiding away from the fact that we need goals and that we are where we are in the league, five points adrift of the team just above us.

MORE: ‘It’s a little bit unbalanced... a number of positions need to be rectified’ - Lambert on Town squad

It was great for Freddie to get his goal and he’s the type of player who can go on to get 15 to 20 goals in a season, which would be a massive boost for us as well as him.

Delight on the face of Freddie Sears after his goal against Preston. Photo: Steve WallerDelight on the face of Freddie Sears after his goal against Preston. Photo: Steve Waller

ON JORDAN ROBERTS

All the lads were made up for Jordan because he’s a great kid. Managers have their own opinions and for whatever reason Jordan wasn’t involved in the squad with the previous manager.

But from one day to the next you would see him come in and he never moped around or sulked.

He would just go off and do his training, get his stuff done, and you take your hat off to people like that who stay mentally strong so that when they are called upon they are ready to deliver.

MORE: Lambert hopeful of Harrison return while Nolan remains sidelined... as boss insists Ward’s time will come

He had a great performance against Preston, led the line very well, was a focal point and gave us a presence. If he had gone on to get a goal I think the lads would have been all over him.

After the game – I don’t know if it was led by me – all the lads gave him a round of applause and said ‘well done, you were brilliant for us today, you really helped us out’.

MORE: A pleasure to watch, Bishop’s return and Nsiala in action - observations as Under 23s draw with Cardiff

Paul Hurst signed Jordan because he’s a good player. For whatever reason things didn’t work out for him under Paul Hurst and Doigy (Chris Doig) but as soon as the new manager came in, from day one or day two, he was asking questions about him and why he wasn’t featuring in the team.

In training his technique is up there with some of the best I’ve seen in terms of his finishing. Also, he’s the type of character you want around the team. He’s fantastic and full credit to him for his performance last weekend.

Jordan Roberts impressed on his full debut against Preston playing as a makeshift striker. Photo: Steve WallerJordan Roberts impressed on his full debut against Preston playing as a makeshift striker. Photo: Steve Waller

ON FLYNN DOWNES

I cannot speak highly enough of Flyn. He’s someone who has had recognition with his England call-ups and for me he is someone who should be cemented in and around the England set-up.

He’s a lovable character as well. He’s one who might be the brunt of a few jokes but he takes it on the chin and gets on with it. In terms of playing ability he’s very, very good.

MORE: Reading could be without their two leading goalscorers for Ipswich visit

Both Flynn and Andre (Dozzell) are mentally strong kids. Look at Doz, his injury was a real bad one and yet he came back sooner than expected. He doesn’t miss a training session and both he and Flynn are arguably two of the best trainers in the squad.

Their mentality is spot-on, second to none, and you can only wish players like that all the very best for the rest of their careers.

Flynn Downes started Paul Lambert's first game in charge of Ipswich Town. Photo: Steve WallerFlynn Downes started Paul Lambert's first game in charge of Ipswich Town. Photo: Steve Waller

ON RELEGATION BATTLE

As much as we are keeping the morale high, we’re not hiding away from the fact that we’re bottom of the league.

Relegation isn’t something you want to go through in your career. It was a horrible, horrible feeling when it happened to me (at Bristol City in 2012/13).

MORE: How living with captain Chambers has helped Lankester reach the Ipswich Town first-team

I hope this isn’t speaking out of turn but I don’t see parallels between now and then. Bristol City was my team for a long, long time but there is a better squad here at the moment, in terms of the manager, staff and what we have behind us in terms of help on and off the field, than we had down there six years ago. It’s a much better place here.

Cole Skuse, pictured with Luke Chambers, says the Ipswich Town players are not hiding from the fact they are bottom of the Championship table. Photo: Steve WallerCole Skuse, pictured with Luke Chambers, says the Ipswich Town players are not hiding from the fact they are bottom of the Championship table. Photo: Steve Waller

We’re lucky in the sense that there are still plenty of games to play and we feel as if we have a very, very good squad.

MORE: Watch as an animated Lambert works closely with midfielder Chalobah during training

We’ve also got a very good manager and staff, who give us the guidance that we need, and who knows, come January there might be some new additions to help us.

That’s a managerial decision, of course, but we’re more than confident we are going to get out of the situation we are in.

ON READING GAME

It’s a very big game at Reading because they’re not too far away from us in the table.

They’re at home and there is talk of their manager (Paul Clement) being under a bit of pressure, so they need to get away from where they are.

But as much as we’ve had a look at them, we’re really focusing on ourselves and getting the little patterns that we can work on to affect them. But there’s no doubt it’s a big game.

MORE: Assessing Lambert’s Ipswich Town squad and where he might need help in January

It is tough to play in these sorts of circumstances. Every game is a big game, no matter where you are in the league, but when you’re bottom of the league every point is a huge point.

You’ve got to be bold and brave, mentally tough as a character, to stand up and fight. Not just that, but to also get on the ball and play.

We all make mistakes – that’s human nature – and we are all capable of giving the ball away in games. But if you make an error like that, don’t dwell on it. It’s gone and you need to move on.

Teenager Jack Lankester hopes to be involved with the Ipswich Town first team for the remainder of the season but would be prepared to spend time out on loan if it aides his development.

Ipswich Town boss Paul Lambert has been impressing the players with his skills on the training pitch. STUART WATSON looks back on his playing career.

Tristan Nydam is keen to make the most of his loan stay in Scotland but is still keeping a firm eye on parent club Ipswich Town.

Former Ipswich Town boss Paul Hurst is the favourite in the betting as his former club Shrewsbury search for a new manager.

Former Ipswich Town goalkeeper Shane Supple has announced his retirement from football for a second time, due to a persistent hip injury.

ANDY WARREN takes a look at the changes made by Paul Lambert since his appointment as Ipswich Town manager.

In our daily feature, we take a look at what happened on this day in Ipswich Town’s history. Today features David Johnson signing for Town and Sir Bobby Robson’s testimonial match at Portman Road

Former Ipswich Town loanee Richie Wellens has been appointed Swindon Town manager, naming Noel Hunt as his assistant.

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