BIG INTERVIEW: Paul Anderson on fearing Sami Hyypia’s snub and the ‘dunce’s bib’ that gets worn in Ipswich Town training sessions

Paul Anderson

Paul Anderson - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town winger Paul Anderson has enjoyed a good start to the season. STUART WATSON spoke to him about Sami Hyypia, competition for places and training ground antics ahead of tonight’s visit of Brighton.

Q: How do you assess the team’s start to the season?

A: “We looked at the games that we had leading up to the first international break and knew it would be difficult. We sort of said let’s get as many points as we can in the first five games, they’ll all be an added bonus, and our season then really starts.

“We were up against four of the five teams you would expect to be in the top six. Millwall was our main starting pioint, we got the three points on Saturday and now we can hopefully kick on.”

Q: How do you assess your own form?

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A: “I felt I had a really good pre-season, I was in a really good place – fitness and performance-wise. Getting a slight little niggle just before the first game is always disappointing, but I was given my opportunity at half-time against Reading and I feel like I’ve done well ever since.

“It always takes time to learn how a manager wants you to play, I’ve had a good year with him now, I’ve had a good pre-season and I’m feeling like I’m fitting in welloot what the manager wants.”

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Q: You’ve already contributed a few assists. Is that something you’ve been working on?

A: “I’ve been asked to be on the set-pieces and I do feel that is a strength of mine. I was disappointed with a few of my deliveries on Saturday, I put in a couple of poor balls and I feel I’m a lot better than that.

“At the end of the day it’s my job to put the ball in the right areas and fortunately a couple of the guys have been on the end of it.”

Q: There weren’t many goals from midfield last season. Are you hoping to chip in with a few?

A: “We knew that last year, we’ve spoken about it and had little conversations about goal tallies and what people should be achieving. I was happy last year, I think I got five in the end, which isn’t too bad. I definitely feel I can contribute more though.

“Goals and assists is what I’m paid to do.”

Q: What do you make of Teddy Bishop? He’s certainly impressed since breaking into the team.

A: “He’s a great talent, has lots of ability and there a few Under-21 lads who could be forcing their way into our first team. We’ve all got to watch our backs a little bit. It’s good for the club that they are producing younger players who are putting a bit of pressure on the first team.

“Teddy’s a great player and fully deserved to keep his starting place.”

Q: There’s a fair bit of competition for the wide places – Darren Ambrose, Stephen Hunt, Cameron Stewart, Alex Henshall to name a few.

A: “You can look at it two ways. You could take it negatively and think ‘I might not be playing this week’ or you can take it as a positive.

“I’m a big squad player. I’ll do anything for the team. Some games I’m going to expect not to play because the manager will rotate it.

“Cameron and Darren Amborse are the two that are probably looking at my position. Some players might think ‘I’d rather they weren’t there’, but I know that’s football. For me, it’s just nice to be involved in such a good squad.”

Q: Sami Hyypia is the manager at Brighton. Did you ever speak to him when you were together at Liverpool?

A: “I was fortunate enough to train with the first team a few times and was involved with a couple of matches. Whether or not he remembers me I don’t know! I obviously remember him because he was a legend at Liverpool.

“He was such a nice guy when I was there, but I probably wasn’t close enough to the first team to ask him for some advice. He might have said ‘who are you?!’”

Q: Now you’re a senior player will you try and give advice to the youngsters coming through?

A: “Every day before matches we do old v young matches and I’ve made that transition across to the old team now.

“It’s such a good changing room and any of us are there for the young lads if they want any help or guidance.”

Q: Tell us a bit more about these old v young matches. Are they competitive?

A: “Most teams I’ve been at do have the old v young games in training. Here we vote for the worst player on the losing team and it’s all a bit of a laugh and joke.

“Anywhere I’ve been generally the older team tends to win. It shows it’s not all about ability, it’s more about how you play the game. It’s amazing how you don’t have to have the best players to win.

“I think we’ve only lost one this year so it’s been alright. It’s nice to be on the winning team because you don’t then have to wear the dunce outfit the next week! It’s just a bib saying you’ve ‘had a Beasley’. That’s a little joke about our kit-man Paul Beasley.”

– For live match updates from Ipswich Town v Brighton & Hove Albion tonight, follow @Stuart_Watson on Twitter.

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