'It's been a strange few days' - Skuse gives emotional exit interview
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Cole Skuse's eight-year stay at Ipswich Town came to an end on Monday when he was released. In an interview with the club website, the midfielder reflected on the play-off season of 2014/15, spoke about his relationship with the likes of Luke Chambers, Mick McCarthy and Marcus Evans and provided an emotional farewell message to the fans.
ON HIS FRIENDSHIP WITH LUKE CHAMBERS
"I've said this in many interviews. He was at Forest, I was at Bristol City and we played against each other many times when the two teams were competing at the top end of League One. He's one of them players where you just think 'shut up, you're shouting so much rubbish!' Then, when you play alongside him, you think 'wow, he's some captain, he's some leader'.
"I walked in the first day here and he said 'it's about time we signed some rubbish players!'
"I wouldn't say opposites attract, because we've got an abundance in common, and we bounce off each other brilliantly, but he's slightly louder then myself!
"He's an unbelievable guy. He's Godparent to my little boy, I was best man at his wedding, so that says a lot really. I've got the utmost respect for him as a person and as a player.
"It was quite fitting. On Monday we came in for our meetings (with manager Paul Cook) and we left in the same car. We got out the gate and it was like *puffs cheeks out*. Don't get me wrong, we weren't hugging each other crying our eyes out, it was more a case of 'wow, this is quite fitting really' having been here together for such a long time."
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ON FORMER MANAGER MICK MCCARTHY
"I still speak to Mick quite a bit now. I wouldn't say he's a real father figure, but he's just someone who, like myself, likes to make sure everyone is okay. Even before I signed he was calling me making sure myself, my wife and kids were okay. Now I could easily pick up the phone to him for chat.
"He's just a fantastic guy and what he did in his time at the club, in terms of having quite a small squad, the budget not being top end, was fantastic. He built a brilliant squad of guys. We ended up in the play-offs. I cannot and will not ever speak highly enough of Big Mick.
"I've had a couple, I wouldn't say heated discussions, but discussions with people about him over the years. People will stop me in Tescos and say 'I'm glad Big Mick has gone' and it sort of got my back up a little bit. He's just a great guy."
ON THE 2014/15 SEASON
"It was phenomenal really. It was quite a small, tight group and we were really close. I still speak to a lot of them now. We were competing against some big fish at that time, so to finish in the top six, albeit we scraped in on the last day at Blackburn, was an unbelievable achievement.
"I thought in the first game against Norwich we did ever so well. In the away fixture we nullified them, to a point, and then obviously the unfortunate (Christophe Berra) sending off changes the tie. But that was a great group to be involved with.
"The last three years have all, obviously, been pretty low, but I don't want to be sat here in my final interview dwelling on that."
ON GOAL AGAINST CARDIFF
Cole Skuse scored just two goals in 278 appearances for Ipswich Town. The first was a memorable long-range strike against Cardiff in April 2015.
"I get stick for not scoring enough goals, but I didn't sign for Ipswich as a 25-goal a season midfielder. I've never ever scored goals in my career," he said.
"Our kit man James Pullen, who was our masseur at the time, always used to say to me 'this is the one' to me pre-match. I'd say 'come on mate, you say that every week', but on that day he was adamant 'no, this is the one'. It was Cardiff at home, under the lights, lovely day for football and I went 'do you know what mate, you might actually be right'.
"It's bounced and I'm half thinking 'that poor steward over there getting one straight on the back of the bonce here'. I've just caught it sweet and it's crashed in off the post.
"James had always said 'if you score, come over and celebrate with me'. So off I went. Bearing in mind I was on a yellow card, I ran to him and jumped in the crowd where he was sat behind the dugout.
"I'm overjoyed but then also thinking 'I'm going to get sent off here!' Luckily the ref didn't clock it. He did have a little word in the second half and said 'I probably could have given you a second yellow card for that'. So he did me a favour because not only did I get my first goal in the game, I got one of my only assists in that game too. I slipped Murph (Daryl Murphy) in for a finish."
ON HIS ROLE IN THE TEAM
"The lads, in house, have always said 'what a player, what a job you do'. So as long as they're happy I'm happy. The amount of games I've played has been evidence that managers like me too.
"It's not the most glorious of positions, the deep-lying midfielder who breaks up the play, but I can also play a little bit. I've been called a few names over the years, like a 'crab', but as long as I'm doing my bit for the side, the players are happy, the manager is happy and I go home and my kids and wife and parents say 'you done okay' that's enough for me."
ON HIS FUTURE
Skuse, who has started a coaching role at St Joseph's College in Ipswich this year, is understood to be interesting League Two side Colchester United.
He said: "I've left the club from a playing perspective, and I want to play elsewhere, but I've said to everyone at the club that if there's anything that needs to be done or you want me to do then I am only just around the corner. I'm obviously only living local."
HIS FINAL MESSAGE
"It's been a real strange few days. I actually found out my fate a couple of weeks ago. I don't really do social media, but the amount of messages and phone calls that have come in has been really, really flattering.
"I'm never one to be really emotional - my wife will vouch for that! - but it has really struck a few chords.
"It has been tough. It's been with a tinge of sadness.
"I've only played three or four games this year off the back of an isolated, freak injury. So for that to happen in my last season at the club has been a real tough one to swallow.
"My final message is, especially to my wife and kids at home, thank you for the support and everything they ever give to me. My parents back home, I wouldn't be in this place without them.
"My teams mates throughout the years, I've enjoyed every single moment of their company throughout the eight years I've been here. It's same for all the staff behind the scenes.
"The football club itself I owe an awful lot to. Marcus Evans, who I still speak to, is a fantastic guy and in the stint that he was here did an unbelievable job.
"I thank the managers and the fans, of course.
"Bless her, my little girl was walking around the garden the other day chanting 'Skuse, there he is'. That had to stop to be honest - I can't have that in the garden!
"So all the fans over the years who have been complimentary, not just in the stadium but around the town, a massive thank you to them.
"To them and the group of lads still here, I wish you nothing but success going forwards.
"I'm not moving far, I'll still be in the area and will be at games. Ipswich Town are now my kids' team. Although Bristol City will always be my team, Ipswich Town will definitely be my second team.
"We'll still be in the area and we'll still be fans."