Ipswich Town are playing ‘Champions League’ football, but it can’t keep being a ‘sorry story’ – says Skuse

Cole Skuse

Cole Skuse - Credit: Archant

Some of the football would not have looked out of place in the Champions League, but now’s the time for newly-expressive Ipswich Town to add results to the performances.

So says midfielder Cole Skuse ahead of tomorrow’s game at Bolton Wanderers.

Town went back-to-basics under Mick McCarthy’s management last season, grinding out numerous ugly 1-0 wins and goalless draws to escape the threat of Championship relegation.

With the pressure of avoiding the drop lifted, the Blues’ style of play has been far more easy on the eye at the start of the 2013/14 campaign.

Results haven’t always matched consistently good performance levels though, with a lack of ruthlessness at both ends of the pitch leaving the Suffolk side an equidistant seven points between the top six and bottom three after 12 matches.

“Last season Ipswich were in a very similar situation to ourselves at Bristol City,” said Skuse, who made a Bosman switch to Portman Road after suffering relegation with the Robins.

“Sean O’Driscoll came in, everyone said ‘you’ll play great football under him’ but we couldn’t afford to be a tippy tappy team considering the position we were in. I think it was probably the same scenario here; you’re playing to get results and stay up.

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“When we came back in pre-season, TC (assistant manager Terry Connor) and the manager touched on it, they’d said the team had done what they’d had to in order to stay up and now they wanted us to play a bit more and pass a bit more this season.

“I think we’ve done that. We have watched some clips of games back and thought ‘Jesus, that was good’. We’ve only done it in patches, but there have been moments that wouldn’t have looked out of place in the Champions League.

“There was a moment in the home game against Brighton where we kept the ball for a good 30 or 40 seconds. It was probably because I wasn’t involved in the move!

“There were lots of little flicks and one-touch passing, Cressie (Aaron Cresswell) almost got in but in the end his parachute came out and slowed him down! It was a great bit of play.

“Don’t get me wrong. We’ve still got solid foundations. There are certain things with the manager that you know you’ve got to do.

“He came in and made sure we did the basics and now he’s giving us the freedom to use our imagination and create a little bit. I think David McGoldrick has been a highlight in that respect, the shackles have come off him and he’s really expressed himself.”

Tomorrow, Town – without a win from six away games – face a Bolton side who are yet to taste victory in six home games this season.

“I am convinced though that if we keep performing as we have done we’ll win a lot more than we lose,” said Skuse.

“We’ve played some good stuff and we probably deserve a lot more than we’ve got at the minute.

“We are aware that we can’t keep saying ‘we should have got more’ from games though. It can’t keep being a sorry story. We need to iron out those fine details.”

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