'We have let ourselves down... but we'll hit pre-season hard' - Donacien
- Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com
Janoi Donacien knows Ipswich Town have let themselves down in 2021/22 but wants to end a disappointing campaign on a high this weekend.
The Blues go into the final game of the season against Charlton knowing they can finish no higher than 10th, after a campaign which began with great promise faded away, thanks to a slow start and inconsistency along the way.
“It’s going to be the same as every week, we always want to put in those good performances, but in the last game of the season we want to finish off and show what we can do for next season,” Donacien said of the final day clash with the Addicks.
“We know how much we let ourselves down in some games so we’re looking forward to next year. We didn’t have the best of starts so we let ourselves down early doors. It’s a tough one to take but we’re going to be ready for next season.
“We took too long to get going but then, once we had, we still dropped points when we shouldn’t have and gave some games away with draws we didn’t need.
“We want to get the break out the way, get some relaxation time and get away from football and then hit pre-season hard.
“As long as we keep our best players and stay fit, with a little bit of luck, we’ll have a good chance next year."
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Game 46 of the League One season could give a number of Town’s young players an opportunity to impress, with Elkan Baggott, Cameron Humphreys and Tawanda Chirewa among those involved with the senior side in recent weeks.
“I have seen them for a few years now, especially Cameron who did pre-season with us,” Donacien said of Town’s youngsters.
“I think he’s a quality little player and Tawanda has done well training with us, so it would be good for their development this year if they can get in a good pre-season with us or maybe go out on loan.
“Elkan wants to learn a lot and is getting better every day. He’ll be a good player for us in the future.
“I think they’re ready. With game time you learn a lot about yourself, even if things don’t go well, so that’s what they need.
“Young players moving up pushes everyone and keeps everyone on their toes.”
While the season has ultimately ended in disappointment for Town, Donacien has enjoyed a successful campaign from a personal perspective, which has resulted in a regular place in the side, a new contract and the honour of captaining Town.
“That was a bit strange because I don’t really see things like that coming,” Donacien said of wearing the armband.
“So for the gaffer to say ‘you can be captain for today’ was great. Hopefully I get to do it again.
“I captained my youth teams when I was younger and a couple of times at Accrington but nothing quite like this.
“It was a great honour.”
Donacien’s form is likely to see him finish high up in the voting for the supporters player-of-the-year award, with Wes Burns already winning the players’ player award and the gong from the club’s corporate sponsors.
And his good friend Donacien expects the Welshman to be victorious again when the fans have their say.
“I expected it to be honest because he’s been on fire and has probably had the best year of his career,” Donacien said of Burns.
“It’s good to be recognised because I’ve put in a lot of hard work this year but Wes will clean up I’m sure.
“It’s always good to be recognised by the fans because I do put in a lot of hard work but I’m just happy to be there.”