Experience needed, says Fabian
WORRIED Fabian Wilnis feels the Blues' reliance on youngsters could cost them promotion over the course of the season.While the Dutch defender is full of admiration for the Academy boys who have progressed, he feels experience is the key to getting to the Premiership.
WORRIED Fabian Wilnis feels the Blues' reliance on youngsters could cost them promotion over the course of the season.
While the Dutch defender is full of admiration for the Academy boys who have progressed, he feels experience is the key to getting to the Premiership.
The loss of Jermaine Wright, Chris Makin and John McGreal, while Matt Elliott returned to Leicester City, has left Wilnis hoping the Blues can cope with the rigours of the Championship which is regarded as the tightest in years.
He said: “We need to get up this season and it will not be easy for us. In fact, it will be quite a challenge as we have had more players leaving the club and less are coming in.
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“We do have youngsters coming through when normally they would have to wait another year or so but, because we are short, they are being forced through.
“In a way it is good, but we really need more experienced players.
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“In this league anyone can beat anyone on their day. Over the course of the season having so many youngsters may not be enough for us. In the long run time will tell.
“A lot will depend on how many more injuries we get, or suspensions we pick up.”
Town take on Cardiff today with both teams having a stuttering start to the season, picking up four points apiece.
Wilnis feels Town need to be a lot more dominant at home this season and also have to improve greatly on two disappointing away performances which led to defeat at Derby and a fortunate point at Forest.
He said: “We had a horrible home record last season and we need to improve on that. We started well with a win over Gillingham at Portman Road but we didn't play well against Nottingham Forest and Derby and we need to change that.
“From what I saw in training this week, everyone is up for it and looking sharp.
“We can come out of this. The team mustn't panic. We are actually better off than we were this time last year. That said, the way we played against Derby was very disappointing and we must change that against Cardiff. It won't be easy because they will be up for it.”
The Dutchman, who signed for another year in the summer, has found himself ejected from his usual right-back slot after a back injury forced him out and Drissa Diallo stepped in during a four-game unbeaten pre-season run.
Wilnis said: “It has not knocked my confidence, on the contrary it has made me even more determined to get in the team.
“I have had a chat with the manager and he explained the reasons why I wasn't in the team.
“He told me that Drissa had done well during the spell I was out injured in pre-season and he didn't want to change a winning team.
“He told me my time would come and to get my head down and work hard, which I have.”
Joe Royle's handling of the whole situation is poles apart to when Wilnis was frozen out during George Burley's reign, and the Dutchman has accepted the challenge to regain his place.
He said: “It is totally different to when I went through this situation with George. This manager is talking to me. With George, I was just shoved aside and he never spoke to me - nothing was said.
“This time the manager has told me the reasons and that is fair enough.
“Of course, I'm disappointed professionally but he has dealt with me well and so I can accept it and get on with it.
“It is early in the season, which we know is a marathon and not a sprint, and I know I will be involved.”
Wilnis has adapted to a left-back role, going on as a substitute in recent games and in the reserves, but could well return to right-back today if Jason De Vos misses out and Diallo goes into central defence.