Skuse defends midfield partnership with Douglas at Ipswich Town

Jonathan Douglas

Jonathan Douglas

Cole Skuse has defended his midfield partnership with Jonathan Douglas and says the duo are part of a group collectively aiming to improve Ipswich Town’s poor run of form.

Cole Skuse

Cole Skuse

The 29-year-old, a star performer last season, has come in for some criticism in recent weeks, some supporters claiming that Douglas and himself are too similar in their style of play and too defensive.

Skuse has carved out a reputation as being one of the best holding midfielders in the Championship, his vision and calmness on the ball enabling him to take the pressure off his Blues’ team-mates at crucial times.

In contrast, Douglas, 33, won many admirers last season for his attacking play in the second tier, scoring eight goals from midfield as newly-promoted Brentford reached the play-offs.

Skuse and Douglas have started nine of Town’s 10 Championship games this season and will hope to be given an opportunity to address a run of just one league win in six, and a slide down to 12th in the table, against Huddersfield Town, at Portman Road, on Saturday.

“I have read in the papers that a few people think that myself and Jonathan are too similar,” said Skuse.

“They are entitled to their opinions but if you speak to people in the game they will tell you Dougie is a top player and a great lad and we strike off each other well.

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“The manager has got other options in midfield and it is down to him who he picks, but if we are paired together again, we will be doing our best for the team.” He continued: “We have a great group of lads and while we are not where we want to be at the moment, we are giving it everything. Even the best teams have bad spells and it’s not for the want of trying.

“We are only three points off third. Don’t get me wrong, one win in six is not the kind of form we want to be in, but we are trying our utmost.”

Town go into Saturday’s game having not played since the 2-0 defeat Blackburn on October 3, and Skuse says the international break has been beneficial.

“The manager and TC (Terry Connor) have done bits on the training ground with us and it wasn’t just a case of getting over the Blackburn game, we have been touching up on things that have happened throughout the season,” explained the ex-Bristol City man.

“The manager breaks things down, whether that is through watching videos, or talking to players individually.

“It’s very intense. As a whole package, he is the best manager I have played under. He is are very shrewd and I think all the other lads would say the same.”

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