‘The Interceptor’ - Skuse happy to be among Europe’s elite, but in dark over his future

Cole Skuse smells the danger in typical fashion for Ipswich Town. Photo: Steve Waller

Cole Skuse smells the danger in typical fashion for Ipswich Town. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

‘The Interceptor’ – it’s a nickname Cole Skuse will happily take.

Cole Skuse gets the better of Jamie Ward to head forward in Ipswich Town's game at Burton. Photo: St

Cole Skuse gets the better of Jamie Ward to head forward in Ipswich Town's game at Burton. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

The Ipswich Town midfielder has made 62 interceptions in the Championship this season – not only the most in the division, but also more than any player from the top five leagues in Europe.

“That’s got to be deserving of a new deal hasn’t it?!” joked the 31-year-old, who is in the final year of his contract. “Does that mean I’m going to win the next Ballon d’Or?!”

Skuse describes himself as ‘mellow’ and his self-deprecating, low-key, likeable off-field demeanour rather matches his unsung, consistent, but vitally important work on the pitch.

“Look, it’s a nice thing to be recognised for,” he said. “It’s something I’m asked to do, to protect the back four.

“Does it go unrecognised? Maybe at times. The gaffer and the lads will say to me ‘well done on filling in’ or correcting situations and if they are noticing it then that’s enough for me.

“I’m definitely not one to go and score 25 goals a season, so I think I’ve got to do something else and contribute somehow!

Cole Skuse stretches out to cut out a through ball at Carrow Road. Photo: Pagepix

Cole Skuse stretches out to cut out a through ball at Carrow Road. Photo: Pagepix

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“I’ve made a career out of it. If I’m not the one whose name is being sung to the rooftops that doesn’t bother me in the slightest. As long as my little boy and girl are singing daddy’s name that’s all that matters.”

He continued: “Every Monday the stats will go up on a board and I’m usually one of the higher ones for passes completed. I’m surprised by this interceptions one though because I would have thought defenders would be higher.”

On the prospect of being dubbed the ‘The Interceptor’, he laughed: “I’ve been called far worse. I’ll take that!

“It will start off as some nice, kind words – ‘well done Skusey’ - and turn into a complete mick take and me getting caned. I hold my own in that respect though – the lads will vouch for that!”

Asked if there was an update on his contract situation, he replied: “No, there’s nothing. I’ve been asked if it’s something that is taking my focus away from the football – it’s not.

“The only thing I can do is play to my best, do my utmost and the rest is in the hands of the staff and the owner. Their decision will be made and that decision doesn’t need to be made until the end of the season.

Cole Skuse beats Pawel Wszolek to the ball during the first half at QPR. Picture: Pagepix

Cole Skuse beats Pawel Wszolek to the ball during the first half at QPR. Picture: Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

“What will be, will be. There’s not much more I can say about that really.”

Asked if manager Mick McCarthy’s own uncertain future might be intertwined with his own, Skuse said: “He was obviously the one who brought me in, he’s shown a lot of faith in me and I’ve played a lot of games under him.

“I don’t know what his situation is. Only he knows that or the owner knows that. Who knows what will be come the end of the season?

Cole Skuse tries to keep a late attack flowing at Sheffield United. Photo: Pagepix

Cole Skuse tries to keep a late attack flowing at Sheffield United. Photo: Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

“Obviously I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t been spoken about among the players. Obviously the lads are aware of certain players and staff having contract situations.

“It’s not something you go into too much depth about though because if you start digging too deeply then it will start to have an affect.

“It’s out of our hands, it’s in the hands of others and what will be, will be.”

Cole Skuse is a doubt for Saturday's visit to Wolves. Photo: Pagepix

Cole Skuse is a doubt for Saturday's visit to Wolves. Photo: Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Cole Skuse reaches for the ball at Hull. Picture: Pagepix

Cole Skuse reaches for the ball at Hull. Picture: Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Cole Skuse gets a foot in at Cardiff. Picture: Pagepix

Cole Skuse gets a foot in at Cardiff. Picture: Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

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