'The lads are enjoying the competition' - Sears out to prove his worth to new boss Hurst
PUBLISHED: 12:00 09 July 2018 | UPDATED: 16:24 09 July 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Striker Freddie Sears is relishing the opportunity to impress Ipswich Town boss Paul Hurst and force his way into his new manager's plans.
Sears and his team-mates have been in Spain for the last week as part of the club’s pre-season training camp, with every player beginning with a clean slate as Hurst assesses what he has at his disposal.
The forward, who endured a disappointing 2017/18 season but ended the campaign with two goals in two games under caretaker boss Bryan Klug, is determined to do all he can to prove to Hurst he is worthy of a place in his side.
“I finished the season well after a disappointing season for me, really, and I’m really happy to have finished that way because it gives me a boost coming into the new season,” he said in a club interview.
“I think everyone has (to prove themselves) because I’m not sure the gaffer would have known too many of us before he got the job here.
“It’s a chance for all of us to really impress, work hard and get into his thoughts for the coming season. He might have a few preconceptions beforehand, but until you work one-to-one with individual players and see what you’ve got to offer, it might be that one manager likes you and another doesn’t.
“Everyone’s on a level playing field at the moment and the lads are enjoying the competition.
“The only target for the minute is to try and be in the team. At the minute, I’m not looking further beyond pre-season.”
The Ipswich squad have been worked hard in Spain, with most days made up of triple training sessions before a 1-0 friendly victory in a behind-closed-doors game with Kilmarnock on Sunday.
And Sears believes the time spent at the Pinatar Arena will stand the Blues in good stead.
“I think football’s changed now,” he said.
“Everyone’s really fit when they come back for pre-season whereas, in the past, it might have taken three or four weeks to get back into it.”
“Obviously the new gaffer has come in with new ideas and the new staff also have new ideas.
“It’s good to get used to that, to see what they want from us and see what we need to do to be in their plans so it’s been a good week.
“We’ve had a good week and everyone’s feeling the benefit of that as well.
“Week one and week two are usually pretty tough and week one this time (at Playford Road) was very tough but we’re looking forward to the games now.
Once the games come around it all calms down a little bit and you get back into the match rhythm of the 45s, 60s, 90s and prepare for the first game of the season.”
New signings Trevoh Chalobah and Jordan Roberts both took part in the training camp, with Sears impressed with what he saw.
“They’ve looked good,” he said.
“A lot of people know about Trev from England and stuff and he’s looked really good. Jordan has looked good as well so there are two new, exciting players for the fans and I’m sure there will be a few more.”