'No more excuses... we have nothing to hide behind' - Woolfenden on Town's stuttering promotion bid

Luke Woolfenden pictured after Town conceded a third against Swindon.

Luke Woolfenden pictured after Town conceded a third against Swindon. - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller www.ste

Luke Woolfenden has admitted the excuses are running out for Ipswich Town as key players return from injury. 

The Blues’ have been blighted by medical issues throughout the campaign but the treatment room is beginning to clear, with Teddy Bishop, Jon Nolan and Gwion Edwards back in training after James Norwood and Flynn Downes made their playing returns in Saturday’s loss to Swindon. 

That leaves just Kane Vincent-Young, Keanan Bennetts, James Wilson and Cole Skuse on the sidelines, with Woolfenden admitting there are now no excuses for the Blues not to be serious promotion contenders between now and the end of the campaign. 

“That was the benefit of the break, a few boys are now only a couple of days or a week away,” Woolfenden said, following Town’s return to action after 25 days without a game. 

“When our squad’s fully fit and firing it’s probably one of the best in the league, if not the best. So we need to starting showing that out there. 

Luke Woolfenden pictured against Swindon.

Luke Woolfenden pictured against Swindon. - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller www.ste

“When everyone’s back there’s no time for excuses, we can’t have that. ‘Oh, we’ve got a few players out’ - that should become a load of b******* then. 

“When everyone’s fit, there’s nothing to hide behind, we’ve all got to go. And we need to start showing that against Burton.” 

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Woolfenden was heartened by the return of Downes and Norwood, with the latter in particular bringing a significant upgrade once he stepped off the bench against the Robins. 

“I think when he’s fit and when he’s on it he's a massive handful, that’s for sure,” he said of Norwood. 

“His movement, he’s aggressive, he’s not the biggest but he wins 90 per cent of the balls in the air. We’ve got to make use of it.” 

“When Flynn’s in there, we’re a totally different team, we have the legs to press, the energy and the aggression in there. 

“I think Flynn was a big miss but now he’s back, hopefully he can stay fit and put that injury behind him and we’ll get the rewards for that.” 

Luke Woolfenden pictured during the warm-ups before the Blues 3-2 defeat against Swindon Town at Por

Luke Woolfenden hasn't featured for Ipswich Town since the 0-0 home draw with Northampton. Photo: Steve Waller - Credit: Archant

The challenge now for Town is to take their ‘unbelievable’ training ground football into matchdays while playing to the strengths of individuals. 

“I think that’s the frustrating thing,” Woolfenden said. “In training we train well, some of the football we play in training is unbelievable, but if you can’t put it out on a Saturday or a Tuesday night it’s worthless. 

“But I think we’ve got to start playing to people’s strengths, we had Nors on the pitch and it wasn’t hitting him enough until the end. He was putting centre-backs on the floor and causing carnage and all sorts, so we’ve just got to start playing to people’s strengths.”