Jackson on his Town exile under Lambert, transfer interest, contract talks and giving his all for Ipswich
- Credit: Steve Waller www.stephenwa
Kayden Jackson is looking to the future at Ipswich Town following a difficult few months for the striker.
The 27-year-old's season has been disrupted by injury, restricting him to just nine League One starts and a single goal, while he and midfielder Jon Nolan finished Paul Lambert’s reign training with the Blues’ Under 23s at the decree of the former boss.
Jackson says he has never truly had the reasons for his exile explained but, now he’s back in the fold, he’s looking forward to making up for lost time in what has been a stop-start season.
“It’s been a strange time really because we’re coming to the end of the season and I feel like I’m only just getting started and that I have a lot of catching up to do,” he said.
“It was a tough time mentally. I kept myself in good shape and I had more time to do work on fitness and things like that, but it was a tough place to be. With things going on in the world today there are people in far worse positions than I ever was, though.
“I had to keep my focus and keep working hard.”
Asked why he feels he ended up training with the club’s young players, Jackson said: “That’s something I’m still not really sure about because I was never given any clarity.
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“The main thing for me was to stay in a good place mentally and physically. That’s what I tried my best to do and that’s all that matters.”
Asked whether he ever told Lambert he didn’t want to play for the club, Jackson replied: “No, no. People who know me know I’m not like that.
“I’ve taken stick and a lot of stuff over my career and just got on with it. At the end of the day I have a job to do, I’m an Ipswich player and I’ll do that as best I can.”
After the Blues turned down offers from Bournemouth last summer, of between £1m-£2m, Huddersfield came in with a loan-to-buy offer on deadline day in January.
“On the back of me finding myself in this position, certain things were brought to my attention fairly late on,” Jackson said of the situation.
“I wasn’t pursuing anything, I wasn’t looking to get out of the club and I’m an Ipswich player, focussed on doing my job here.
“Towards the end of the window I found myself in a difficult position and I was told there was a little bit of interest going into the last day of the window, which was a little bit of a shock to be honest because I wasn’t playing much. To have the interest was a bit of a shock.
“I was just trying to put myself in the best position possible to provide for my family and being happy as a footballer. When I was told about a potential move I was just interested in getting back playing games, wherever that would be.”
Jackson’s contract expires this summer, with the club holding an option to extend it by a further 12 months. There’s been little talk of a new deal so far, though.
“At the minute all I’m concentrating on is playing football and there’s been no word from the club or from my side,” he said. “We’ll just leave that for now and see what happens.
“I’m sure talks now will be positive, rather than negative.”
But now Jackson is fully-focussed on the promotion run-in, as the Blues bid to get back to the Championship.
“I just want to give the best I can for the gaffer,” Jackson said.
“He’s obviously been very successful at the clubs he’s been at and his record speaks for itself. He’s had recent success and that’s all you can ask for as a player – you want to be playing under a successful manager and someone who gets the best out of his players.
“I’ve followed Wigan quite a lot in recent years and I’ve known a lot of players who played under him. It just goes to show what they’ve done after playing for him and the heights they’ve gone onto.
“I need to get myself in tip top condition and I’m looking forward to being a part of it. Hopefully we can push and find the consistency we’re lacking at the minute. We need to start getting more wins than not.”