Hat-trick for Wilnis

FABIAN Wilnis has credited a unique hat-trick of awards to Pilates and the piano.The Dutchman has scooped the EADT/Powergen Player of the Month prize for an unprecedented third successive time after another consistent run of good performances.

FABIAN Wilnis has credited a unique hat-trick of awards to Pilates and the piano.

The Dutchman has scooped the EADT/Powergen Player of the Month prize for an unprecedented third successive time after another consistent run of good performances.

Wilnis revealed the secret of his success to the EADT after being told he had pipped Tommy Miller and Richard Naylor in winning the coveted award.

He said: “I'm more aware of how to look after myself, by taking a proper rest between games and training.


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“Playing the piano relaxes me mentally and I really enjoy that. My wife Juliette teaches Pilates and, if I ever get a little injury, she treats me straight away and I'm ready for training the next day.

“That has helped me a lot and I have to say I'm really chuffed to win the award again.”

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Wilnis is looking to get April off to a good start today with a goal against Derby and his new-found confidence will be a factor.

He said: “When I go into every game now, I want to be the best player on the pitch but, most of all, I still want to score a goal.

“That would be the icing on the cake for me after a good season.

“I'm getting there, I'm bombing forward more than I used to and I came so close when I headed against the crossbar against Forest.

“The wing-back position suits me more, as I'm able to get more room and join the strikers.

“Getting one against George's Derby would be an especially great time to score it.”

Wilnis feels that Joe Royle's belief in him has also given him an extra spring in his step.

He added: “I always knew I was capable of doing the job, but it was about getting the opportunity to do it, and now I'm getting that.

“Joe has kept his belief in players but, most of all, he tells us to enjoy our game and not worry about making a mistake.

“The lack of a fear factor is important to players. The manager prefers that we take people on, try to make things happen than worry about playing.”

It is well known that Wilnis and George Burley didn't enjoy the best of relationships towards the end of the former manager's reign at Portman Road but Wilnis insists that is all in the past now.

He said: “It is all behind me now. I have spoken to Burley a couple of times since he left and there are no hard feelings, these things happen in football.”

That doesn't stop Wilnis wanting a goal and three points against in-form Derby today to maintain the Blues' run, after going three games unbeaten and still in with a chance of a top-two finish.

Wilnis said: “If you had offered us third place and three points off an automatic place with seven games to go, we would have snatched your hand off.

“We are staying positive and everyone believes we can do it.

“Derby have a great away record, and they will be coming here for all three points, so it should be a great occasion.

“We are both good footballing sides but, hopefully, it is Ipswich that come away with all three points.”

Wilnis is expected to keep his place as the right-wing back, with skipper Jim Magilton starting for Town, who have no injury worries.

The 34-year-old Dutchman started March with a man-of-the match award at Wigan with a mark of eight out of 10.

He followed that with eights against Nottingham Forest and Cardiff and even though he only picked up a seven in Town's draw at Gillingham, it was enough to secure the accolade.

Naylor also picked up three eights but a six at Wigan kept his average just behind Wilnis, although he is on course for the player-of-the-season award.

Miller got a rare nine and man-of-the-match for the Forest thumping but sixes at Wigan and Gillingham meant he missed out.

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