Emyr Huws on a big week, a private chat with Lambert and his Ipswich Town future
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town midfielder Emyr Huws says he ‘loves the club and would love to stay’, but admits he’s got work to do if he’s going to be offered a new contract.
The 27-year-old has made just 17 league starts for the Blues since joining the club permanently from Cardiff back in 2017, two seasons wiped out by injuries, and is now in the final year of his four-year deal.
He’s found himself down the central midfield pecking order so far this campaign. Even with Flynn Downes and Cole Skuse sidelined opportunities have been scarce, boss Paul Lambert selecting the likes of Jon Nolan, Teddy Bishop, Andre Dozzell, Jack Lankester and Brett McGavin ahead of him at times.
Speaking ahead of tomorrow night’s crunch home clash with League One leaders Hull at Portman Road, which Huws looks set to start given Dozzell (suspended), Nolan (groin) and Bishop (ankle) are all out, the Welshman was asked if he had been frustrated by the lack of game time he’s had so far this campaign (three starts in the league, two in the cups).
“Slightly, yeah,” he said, after a pause.
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And has he spoken to the manager about that? Again, another pause, before he replied: “A little bit.”
Is Lambert alright with players knocking on his door, making it clear they are chomping at the bit and saying ‘I can do it for you’? Is that what the conversation was like?
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“Yeah... Something like that!” laughed Huws. “Everyone wants to play don’t they? It’s one of those things. There’s competition for places and you have to play really well to stay in the team.
“It’s part of football. You can’t always have your way. You’ve just got to keep your head down and keep working.”
Asked if was difficult to get into a rhythm when his game time had been so sporadic, Huws said: “I think it’s a bit of a myth. We train every day, so we shouldn’t be relying on loads of games to get into the rhythm of things. I’m just going to do my game and try to affect the games.
“I’ve parked everything that happened in the past (with injuries). This season is this season. I’m just dealing with it week-by-week.
“Footballers all want to play, so I’m looking forward to the week and hopefully getting some minutes. Hopefully I can affect the games and get some goals and assists. I’m going to try and do that.”
On his contract, the midfielder said: “It’s up next summer. There’ve been no talks yet. I’m going to have to play a lot more games and show what I’m about a bit more before that happens.
“I love the club and I would love to stay. Hopefully it’s a successful season and we take it from there.”
The unusually subdued Welshman also discussed last weekend’s comeback 2-1 victory against Shrewsbury, which made it six league wins from six at Portman Road at the start of this campaign, and looked ahead to two more home games against table-topping Hull (Tuesday night) and fifth-place Charlton (Saturday).
On the unconvincing Shrewsbury win, which was secured by Lankester’s goal deep into stoppage-time, Huws said: “It was really important to get the win. It was a tough, tricky game after conceding early, but we got the three points and move on to the next one.”
On facing Hull and Charlton, he said: “They’ll be tough games but we’re looking forward to them.”
Asked if Town will need to play better than at the weekend to stand a chance of winning, Huws said: “It’s tricky to say. We conceded early on Saturday so it was always going to be a tough game. We’ll just continue to do what we’re doing. It will be a tough game, but we’ve got a good record at home. We’re looking forward to it.”
Town struggled to beat teams at the top end of the table last season. Their record against the 10 teams that finished above them was W2 D8 L8. That theme has continued so far this campaign, with defeats coming at Lincoln and Sunderland.
“There’s no issue there I don’t think,” said Huws. “All games are different. We’ve got to focus on our own game and go out there and try and get the win.
“It’s a big week and we’re going to try and win.
“We definitely need to beat one of the top teams. And I think it will come.”
He added: “We’ve been playing well and scoring goals so I definitely want to be more involved and chip in.
“I think we’re looking good. We’re just going to try and continue what we’ve being doing and hopefully we’ll be there come the end.
“Hull are top for a reason. It will be a tough game but we’re looking forward to it. They might come at us more than Shrewsbury and that could be a positive. We’ll try and enforce our game plan on them and win the game.”