Jonas Knudsen knows criticism will make him a better player

Jonas Knudsen takes a throw-in during the Ipswich Town V Birmingham (championship) match at Portman

Jonas Knudsen takes a throw-in during the Ipswich Town V Birmingham (championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, Suffolk, UK on 18 September 2015 Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Jonas Knudsen loves to hear criticism because he knows it will ultimately make him a better player.

The 22-year-old was signed from Esbjerg, in his native Denmark, for a fee of around £350,000 in the summer – the most money Mick McCarthy has spent on a player during his three years at Portman Rad.

Following in the footsteps of left-backs Aaron Cresswell and Tyrone Mings, Knudsen had big shoes to fill and, by his own admittance, it has been a steep learning curve so far.

Middlesbrough’s opener in a 2-0 win at Portman Road last Friday ended up in the net after Knudsen was beaten to a close-range header at the far post by Christian Stuani.

But the affable youngster, who politely always asks if his perfectly good English is being understood, is choosing to take such moments as a positive in the grand scheme of his career progression.


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“If you make a mistake then you hear about it,” he said, speaking ahead of tomorrow’s Championship game at MK Dons (12.30pm, Sky Sports). “It’s not only good things that the manager tells you.

“Take the last match, for example. It was a decent goal, a fantastic cross, but we have talked about a lot of the little mistakes which led to it.

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“There was no pressure on the cross and also I have to clear the ball better. I have watched this goal back a lot of times because I need to prevent it happening again.”

He continued: “I like so much to hear what I do wrong because then I can take the next steps. If they only say to me ‘you’re doing well, you’re doing well’ then you don’t think about how to improve.

“In every game you can find some sort of mistake. If you don’t look for those mistakes then you won’t get better. I want to listen and learn from the experienced people around me.”

Knudsen, who has started 17 of Town’s 19 league games so far, is confident that it is only a matter of time before the team scores from one of his long throw-ins and he also believes that he will score himself before the season is over.

“I came here, had one week to train and then I went straight into the team,” he said. “I think I’ll be better and better the more games I play.

“Every time you go to a new club, especially in a new country, there is a lot to learn but I am very happy with how my first five months have gone.”

Town now have at least 11 games before the end of January, something that will be alien to Knudsen.

“Normally I have a month off now,” he explained. “Sometimes we would go down to Thailand for some sun, or take a trip to Spain. We used the winter break like the players use the summer break here. This is new to me, but I like to play a lot of games and I think it will be good.”

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