‘I’m delighted for everybody involved at our club’ – Klug on 4-0 win at Reading
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Ipswich Town caretaker boss Bryan Klug said he was ‘delighted for everybody at the club’ following this afternoon’s 4-0 win at Reading.
All four goals came in the final 20 minutes as Martyn Waghorn (71), Jordan Spence (79), Freddie Sears (90+1) and Callum Connolly (90+4) netted in the Blues’ biggest victory of the campaign.
“I’m delighted for everybody involved at our club, right through from our staff who have responded (after Mick McCarthy’s departure), the players who have responded after a massive disappointment last weekend (a 4-0 home defeat to Aston Villa) and the fans,” said Klug.
“It’s obviously a better feeling, it’s a good feeling and I thought we played quite well.
“I thought we played well in the first half, at the end of it I felt reasonably comfortable and we had created a few good opportunities.
“I thought we were lively on the counter-attack and we also had good possession at times as well, but I was never expecting to be coming in here after a 4-0.
“I’ll have to look at the first goal, whether it was onside or offside, but the linesman was in the best spot for that, I’ll leave that one.
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“Then when we got the second goal, which we didn’t get at Forest, and that’s significant in the game.
“And what goes on in the last couple of minutes puts a real tint on it and I feel for the opposition in many ways because I don’t think it was a 4-0 game.”
Klug said the team showed the resolve of a Mick McCarthy team, particularly in the earlier stages of the second half, saying: “Nobody’s ever, ever questioned this group’s... what was the word Mick used to use? Belligerence? They showed all those qualities, blocks, and we kind of take it a little bit for granted but the goalkeeper (Bartosz Bialkowski) made some important interventions.
“I think it sums up this group when you saw when Freddie score his goal and everybody got involved in the celebration. That’s pleasing for everybody. It’s not about me, it’s about the club and it’s about those fans.
“Last week they were magnificent for us in the adversity we suffered and today, the fans who were here, I’m just really pleased for them.”
Regarding Sears, who had gone 38 games and just over a year without a goal, he added: “He’s such a good pro, whatever you ask him to do, and he’s been asked to do a few roles by the gaffer, but whatever you ask him to do he takes it on board.
“Whenever you ask him to train he’s very receptive, so he’s just a great pro. There was a lot of emotion for everybody when he scored his goal.”
Klug also had praise for 19-year-old defender Luke Woolfenden, who made his Town league debut from the start having been recalled from loan club Bromley yesterday.
“I thought he did very well,” he said. “I’ve been going to Bromley and I’ve seen him play, so I’ve seen the progress he has been making. He’s got mistakes in him still but he’s a player for the future.
“I thought he was pretty calm and cool most of the time. He made a few errors that we’ll talk to him about but overall very good.
“I didn’t really want to bring him back unless he was going to start because he had a date a Wembley (the FA Trophy final against Brackley) that would have been good for him but I think as debuts go I was delighted.
“He got helped by senior players, he got helped by (Jonas) Knudsen and (Adam) Webster, who are great lads, Jordan Spence helped him along as well. I think he will have learnt a lot today, it’s good for the football club that we got some minutes into him.”
Overall it was a young side – the average age of the outfield players was 23 – with Klug joking that he almost asked for the match to be postponed such are Town’s current injury problems.
“I was thinking about asking if we could have the game called off with the way it was going,” he said. “(Cole) Skusey is ill, Chris Smith has had a sore back, Luke Hyam has a tight hamstring, while Cameron (Carter-Vickers) rolled his ankle on Thursday.
“After last week, it would have been quite easy for this group to play like it didn’t really matter but I think that’s testament to all the things that have been instilled in them over the years.”
Four academy products started - Woolfenden, Ben Folami, Myles Kenlock and Tristan Nydam - which Klug says is promising for the future of the club.
“You’ve got Tristan, who is still a youth team player, Folami, who is still a scholar. I think that’s obviously very good. There are some other young players around (the squad), he reflected.
“They’re not going to be able (to play every week). I think Folami will probably sleep for a week after today! But you just hope they’ll eventually be players who can sustain Championship football at the top end and hopefully we might have one or two in the system who can go and play higher. That’s what we aspire to.
“But it’s very pleasing that we’ve gone out there with four academy products on the field. That’s got to bode well and you benchmark yourself against the very best.”
He continued: “We came up short last week against Aston Villa through a lot of adverse circumstances. I could argue that up until the sending off we were going to make that much more of a game.
“And obviously we took advantage of the lack of confidence in Reading. They’ve got some really good players. At 1-0 I still think the game could have gone either way and the two late goals probably flatters us. I’ve been there so I feel really sorry (for them) because I know Paul Clement and I know (his assistant) Nigel Gibbs. They’re great people, I feel for them.”
Town lost Mustapha Carayol to injury in the first half after the Gambian international had been the Blues’ biggest threat.
“We’ll just have to wait and see what he’s done,” Klug added. “It was a shame because he showed all the talent that we know he’s got, but unfortunately he’s picked up another injury. We don’t know yet.”
Klug agreed that the game summed up Carayol’s time since joining Town with promising displays followed by injuries.
“He wants to play, he’s been knocking on my door asking to start a game, understandably so,” he said. “And I thought today he gave us something to get us up the pitch that was very exciting and it was a shame when he went off. But that gave Freddie his opportunity.”
Asked if he will be the one making the decision on whether the likes of Carayol get offered contracts?
“Not really, I think those discussions went on with Marcus (Evans) and the manager (McCarthy) before (I took charge),” he said. “I’ve got an opinion and I’ll be asked for it I’m sure, but I don’t think I’m making those decisions, no. I’m not the decision-maker on that one.”
Meanwhile, Reading manager Paul Clement slammed his team for their second-half capitulation.
“We got what we deserved in the end because we weren’t professional for the entire game,” he said.
“I can’t ever remember a situation where I’ve had to speak about a performance like that. That was shameful and embarrassing from the point where they got their first goal to the end of the game. Completely unacceptable.
“I’m very disappointed and sorry for our fans that they came to see their team get over the line today and get a positive result to ensure our status at this level for next season.
“I thought the first half was quite tight, I thought we started the second half brightly.
“We had that counter-attack, that sweeping move from our box to their box which ended with their keeper making a good save from John Swift. I know it was central, but he tipped it over the bar and it was a lovely move.
“I think if we’d scored that it would have given us the impetus to go on and get the points or point that we needed.
“But from having the ball on the edge of their box, they broke, we missed a tackle and the final positions on the first goal, terrible, terrible.
“The second goal, terrible, the third goal, terrible. The fourth goal we were all over the place and it was a decent finish.
“Not even after the second goal, after the third goal the game’s over. Very, very poor professionalism and tactical discipline in the game.”