‘I don’t know what to say... this is the worst I’ve felt in my career’ - Judge on Town’s slide down League One
Alan Judge admitted he is feeling as low as he has in his entire career as Ipswich Town’s slide down the League One table continues.
The Blues now find themselves ninth, six points off the play-offs having played two games more than Fleetwood, who moved into sixth, and if those below them win their games in hand Paul Lambert's side could drop as low as 12th.
The latest defeat came on Tuesday night following the 1-0 home loss to Fleetwood, which was surely a near-terminal blow to lingering play-off hopes and was played out in front of a difficult atmosphere at Portman Road as the home fans vented frustrations at owner Marcus Evans, manager Lambert and the Town players.
"They (the fans) pay their good money and ultimately it all comes down to us so we have to do what we can and it wasn't good enough," Judge said.
"I don't know what to say. It's probably the worst I've felt in my career but we're not going to give in, none of us will give in, I'm not going to say just me, we all won't give in.
"This is the worst I've probably felt in my career, and I've broken my leg (at Portman Road, with Brentford in 2016) and this is definitely up there with it.
"I hate seeing people spending good money and not getting what they deserve back, because we have been supported well.
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"I'm just the one speaking now but I'd imagine if you have everybody speaking they'd say the exact same thing as me. But, again, fans are probably sick of hearing that."
Youngsters Brett McGavin and Tyreece Simpson were involved on Tuesday night while Armando Dobra was an unused substitute, with Judge insisting these tough times could ultimately be the making of the academy graduates.
"This will be the making of them," he said. "I've said that before. It's hard for them but I think as you've seen Tyreece has come on and done well, (Armando) Dobra's done well in other games.
"We have been hit by injuries and suspensions, key players have been injured. Ultimately for me I've been OK but maybe I'm paying for not having a great pre-season but you just want to see the lads fit and well and just see what happens.
"I don't want to say things and the fans say 'oh, he's ranting on again'. I totally get it. I get it and it's down to us.
"We have to keep going, work hard, don't shy away from the ball. I think tonight you saw players who didn't shy away from the ball, and that's the important thing. If you start seeing that then you've got a problem."
Tuesday night's game was labelled 'must-win' by manager Paul Lambert and, while the defeat leaves Ipswich well adrift of the play-off places, Judge insisted the players can't afford to give up.
"I'm not going to pan it onto the staff or whatever, it's just not working for us as players and that's down to us," he said.
"I don't know what to say to the fans, to be honest with you because I'm out of words really, to be honest with you. They're sick of hearing us talking and I can understand that totally.
"We won't give up, we'll keep going," he added.
"Anything can happen in the league but we'll just keep going and see what happens."