‘It’s not panic stations... I’m confident we’ll win one this week’ – Cole Skuse big interview

Cole Skuse and Elliott Bennett collide in Town's opening day draw with Blackburn. Photo: Steve Walle

Cole Skuse and Elliott Bennett collide in Town's opening day draw with Blackburn. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town host Brentford at Portman Road tomorrow night. Midfielder Cole Skuse spoke to the media earlier today about his recent head injury, the winless start and his role as a senior player.

Luke Chambers and Cole Skuse after the defeat at Rotherham earlier this season. Photo: Pagepix

Luke Chambers and Cole Skuse after the defeat at Rotherham earlier this season. Photo: Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Q: How concerned are you as players that there is still no win on the board?

A: We’re not panicking. I don’t think it would be a good sign if the senior players were panicking. But I would be lying to you if I said I wasn’t thinking about it.

Looking at the paper and seeing us bottom of the league after seven games is not a nice sight. It’s not a case of panic but there are definitely things that need to be looked at in order to put things right.

The longer it goes on, the more you want to get the three points, get that weight off your back and go on a little run.

Cole Skuse under pressure from Hull's Todd Kane. Photo: Pagepix

Cole Skuse under pressure from Hull's Todd Kane. Photo: Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

We’ve played eight games without getting a win so things have got to be looked at.

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We’ve got to look at everything in terms of our week-to-week preparations for games, how we look after ourselves away from the club and it’s all got to be magnified because we have not been able to get a win.

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I cannot pinpoint one thing that is guaranteed to have that effect. We need to look at everything and cover all areas to try to get our first three points.

The morale is still very high within the camp. There are certain individuals who won’t let it drop and it’s not panic stations, but to get the first three points would do everyone within the group the world of good, as well as the fans and people outside the club. It would give everyone a boost. We have two home games this week and I’m confident that at least one of them will see us record our first win of the season.

Q: How do you reflect on Saturday’s performance? (2-0 defeat at Hull)

A: I spent the day with Chambo yesterday. As soon as he walked through the door and into my house we said ‘football’s gone, it’s time for a roast dinner and play with the kids’. But five minutes we’re soon picking the bones out of it.

Cole Skuse with a first half shot at Derby. Photo: Pagepix

Cole Skuse with a first half shot at Derby. Photo: Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Like Chambo said in his interview after the game, if you are conceding a goal after three or four minutes away from home, when you’re not on the best of run yourselves, it lifts the Hull players and fans straight away.

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They were not on a great run either so we were looking to keep them out for 15 or 20 minutes, put them on the back foot and hope that they went into a bit of a shell.

The crowd would have been on their backs, which would have meant we were the ones getting a lift and it would have been a completely different game.

Cole Skuse slides into a challenge at Derby. Photo: Pagepix

Cole Skuse slides into a challenge at Derby. Photo: Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

To start the game in that manner and then to almost finish it in that manner, conceding so late, was a real shame. The goals were very avoidable and even in between them it wasn’t a great game by any stretch.

And that’s after we got a decent result against Norwich, where we felt we had put in a good performance and weren’t too far from picking up all three points, which we probably deserved.

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The lead-up to Hull, with the international break, the morale and the banter around the place, was very, very good.

Cole Skuse heads the ball clear against Aston Villa. Photo: Steve Waller

Cole Skuse heads the ball clear against Aston Villa. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

We were going into the game at Hull full of confidence but it felt like a popped balloon to deflate like that.

It wasn’t good so we owe an apology, not only to the fans who travelled in such large numbers but also to the staff and everyone involved with the club.

Q: You mention spending time with Luke Chambers. How does it affect you as senior players who have been at this club for a long time?

Cole Skuse has said thank you for the support he received after suffering a head injury against Norw

Cole Skuse has said thank you for the support he received after suffering a head injury against Norwich. Photo: PA - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

A: We take it a bit more to heart as older, senior players and we feel a responsibility towards everyone around the club.

It wasn’t a relaxing atmosphere as Chambo and I sat down to our roast dinner because we had six kids charging around.

The small chat we did have was very much on what we can do to put things right and how we can stamp our mark on things around the place.

The new players are younger and haven’t played at this level so they’re not afraid to ask what this league’s all about.

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We can’t be jumping down their throats but if they want to ask questions we’re more than approachable.

On the flip side, though, they have been brought here for a reason. They are good players and I’m sure they can adapt to this level.

We’ve not got the result we need after eight games but let’s hope things take a turn for the better much sooner than later.

Q: Prior to Saturday, there were positives to take from the opening seven performances though wasn’t there?

A: Yeah. We’ve had some good performances and we’re coming away from some games scratching our heads and wondering how we have not got a draw or a win.

That’s the wonderful world of football – you don’t always get what you deserve and the next week you could get absolutely pumped by a team yet you take the three points. That’s the way it is.

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There have been some positive signs, we’ve played some good stuff and we’ve created some good chances, but not got the rub of the green. Hopefully that will turn for us.

Q: Some have said that too much has been changed too soon. Do you go along with that?

A: We had the pre-season together but you have to remember we’ve also lost some very, very influential players.

Waggy (Martyn Waghorn) provided a large chunk of our goals and assists, and there’s also Garns (Joe Garner) and Webby (Adam Webster), so we’ve lost some good players. If you took them out of any team in the Championship it is going to be a big loss.

We’ve brought in a large chunk of players and there may have been a big turnaround but you can’t just use that as an excuse.

There is still a core of us here who have been here for a while and we need to get together and get round everyone to try to drag us through this little slump that we’re in.

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Like I said, there is a core of us here that have been at the club a little while, but it is tough because it was such a large turnaround.

I’ve been around the game long enough, and Chambo’s been around the game long enough, and you can’t use that as a palm-off or an excuse.

We’re still in a very competitive league and the new lads are very hungry players. They’re here to progress their careers and it’s a good step-up joining Ipswich.

We’re trying our utmost to put things right, digging round every avenue, and hopefully it will take a turn soon.

Q: How has the manager been?

A: He’s a good guy around the place and he’s forever in contact with the players, both him and his assistant (Chris Doig).

They are not shying away from the fact that we haven’t won a game yet and are still doing their utmost to do all they can to put everything right.

He’s conducting himself very well. It’s a new level for him, a new challenge and I’m sure he’s going to stand up and be counted.

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As far as I can see, it’s not getting to him. He’s not coming in, slamming the door behind him and sitting at his desk with a blanket over his head.

His door is always open, he’s very approachable and he’s taking it all on the chin like the rest of us are.

Q: What did the players make of Bartosz Bialkowski being dropped for the Norwich game. Does that motivate you more knowing no-one’s place is safe, or can it provide a fear factor and cause you to play within yourselves?

A: That didn’t really come as a shock because Dean (Gerken) performs well in training, day-in and day-out, and is very consistent.

Maybe because Bart has had three or four great seasons it came as a shock to people but that was the manager’s decision and we’ve got to stick by that.

I’ve said this before – you never come in here every day thinking your place is safe. I was left out of the side for the Carabao Cup tie at Exeter.

The manager is the manager for a reason and if he wants to change the side he can change the side. It was his decision and that’s the way he wants to go.

Q: Two home games now against Brentford and Bolton...

A: It’s a huge week. We’re under the lights on Tuesday night and it’s a big occasion for the club as a whole because of the passing of Kevin Beattie.

We want to put things right as soon as we can and can’t be chasing the three points forever because the season will soon pass us by.

We have another home game on Saturday and we’ve got to make the most of it, really digging in deep for each other and picking up the three points. We need everyone behind us at both games.

If you are chasing the three points for a little while and you see a little gap developing between us and the team above us, it can have a major effect mentally.

It’s down to the senior guys in the group to get around the others and drag them through.

We’re staying positive and that’s the best way at the minute. Tuesday night is a big game and a tough game because Brentford are a very good side. They go about their business in their own way and have their way of doing things.

They like to play football the way they do and they’ve had a good start to the season. They are always tough opponents. I know we had a positive result against them at home last season but it’s going to be a real tough one for us.

Q: Finally, how are you now after that horrible looking injury in the Norwich game?

A: Okay thanks. I’ve gone down quite hard and wasn’t in a good way. It wasn’t nice for my family to see. My wife and children were there and the kids were in tears seeing me getting stretchered off.

Thankfully, everything is okay and both the ambulance and medical side of things were both brilliant.

They did everything they could on the pitch and I can only thank them and the fans from both sides because they were brilliant.

I received a note in the post from Norwich fans wishing me all the best and a speedy recovery, and that was a nice touch.