Jonny Williams won’t change the way he plays to avoid injuries

Jonny Williams

Jonny Williams - Credit: James Ager

Ipswich Town loanee Jonny Williams says he won’t change the way he plays in order to protect himself from getting injured again.

The 23-year-old midfielder’s trademark is to trick an opposition player into a lunging tackle with some late control before a quick shifting of the ball. It may earn his team plenty of free-kicks in dangerous areas, but it has also left him sidelined for long periods too.

He’s just worked his way back to fitness after a crude challenge in a pre-season game at non-league club Farnborough left him with an ankle problem just two weeks after some impressive displays for Euro 2016 semi-finalists Wales.

“It’s one of those things that you take on the chin,” said the Crystal Palace player, who has made two brief substitute appearances for Town during his fourth loan spell.

“I’m not the only one. You’ve got (Jack) Wilshere who plays the same way and gets injuries.

“I wouldn’t say I’m injury prone, it’s more to do with being hit by bad tackles. That’s just the way I play and something I won’t change because the top players run with the ball. When I put in my good performances, that’s what I do; I carry the ball forward and that invites tackles.

“I was actually getting better, believe it or not, at getting out the way of the tackles. I couldn’t get myself out the way of that one though. It could have been worse looking back at the tackle.

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“I’ve spoken to coaches and my agent about whether it’s something that maybe I can change. I don’t think it is.

“I played 34 games last season and played the same way then. I’m feeling good. I got 90 minutes under my belt for the Under-23s on Monday and I feel I can go straight back into the Championship and play with freedom without holding back.

“I’ve come back here to play football and show everybody what I’m capable of.

“I’ll play my usual game, get the ball in front of the defence and not look to go backwards. I’m looking forward to linking up with the front players and see what we can do.

“Ideally I’d play central. I think that’s where you get the best out of me. Not necessarily pinned in the number 10 position, but with the freedom to roam. I know my defensive responsibilities off the ball and getting back into shape and helping the team out.

“The manager wants me to get the ball and show people what I can do.”

On his long-term future, Williams said: “I’ve been at Palace for a long time now. I always gave my best whenever I was given an opportunity, whether that was five minutes or 10 minutes or 20 minutes. It was limited to sub appearances in the last two or three years, which was tough.

“I want to be settled somewhere, so who knows what the future holds. I’m here for the season, so let’s see where that takes me. I’ve always loved my time here.”

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