Cole Skuse no longer feeling the strain thanks to new midfield balance

Cole Skuse in action for Ipswich Town. Photo: Inpho Photography

Cole Skuse in action for Ipswich Town. Photo: Inpho Photography - Credit: Archant

Cole Skuse feels a pressure has been lifted now there is more balance in Ipswich Town’s midfield.

The Blues’ middle third was very much workmanlike during a forgettable second half of last season due to the fact that creative sparks Teddy Bishop, Ryan Fraser and David McGoldrick were all injured.

Bishop is back now though, while the forward-thinking Tom Lawrence, Grant Ward, Jonny Williams and Conor Grant have been added to the squad, allowing Skuse and Jonathan Douglas to fully concentrate on protecting the back four.

“I think the defensive-midfielders have always done their jobs, but it was frustrating when the likes of Didz (McGoldrick) and Bish and Fraser were injured,” said Skuse, speaking ahead of tomorrow’s game at Leeds United.

“When that many creative players are out it can put a bit more strain on players like myself.

“I’m not going to go out and suddenly get 20 goals a season or create 20 goals. I know within myself what I am capable of and what I am being asked to do. Although I have to say, the fans have been brilliant with me and I think they realise what I am about.”

He continued: “It’s exciting now, from a deeper midfielder’s point of view, to know that there are players in the team who you can give the ball knowing they can go and create something.

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“Tom Lawrence can create a shot out of nothing, Jonny Williams is almost back fully fit and we know what he can do, while Grant Ward has had an unbelievable start, and I’m a big fan of Teddy Bishop’s. We’ve got that bit more going forwards.”

On his central midfield partner Douglas, who has answered several critics this season, Skuse said: “I’ve said from day one that he’s not had the career he’s had for no reason. You know what you are going to get from Dougy. He’s a very honest boy, a great lad and we’ve seen his performances day-in, day-out in training. I’m glad he’s getting his praise at the minute.”

He added: “Fans are entitled to their opinion and if they want to give the attacking players all the plaudits then I’m more than happy for that to be the case because they probably deserve the plaudits. We’ll just do the job we’re asked to and help the side.”

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