Luke Hyam can handle the pressure of being Ipswich Town’s ‘local boy’, says Cole Skuse

Luke Hyam in action against Watford

Luke Hyam in action against Watford

Luke Hyam will come back stronger after a difficult afternoon in Saturday’s 1-1 home draw with Watford.

So says his Ipswich Town team mate Cole Skuse, who – along with Blues boss Mick McCarthy – jumped to the defence of the 22-year-old after he was the subject of boos from the home crowd.

The Ipswich-born, former Northgate High School pupil received the stick after over-hitting a pass into touch in the second half, the midfielder going on to miss a golden chance to win the game in the 87th minute when heading against the bar from close-range.

“The chance wasn’t as easy as it may have looked to some people,” said Skuse. “He had to try and head it over the goalie because the goalie has jumped up and made himself big. It wasn’t an easy chance where he just had to head it into an open goal.

“I’ve only been here a short period, but I’ve said from the word go that he’s a very talented boy. We see that every day in training. He’s taken a bit of grief, but he’s a very, very good player and he’ll come back stronger.

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“He’s a strong character and he’s mentally tough. He doesn’t hide away, he’s not shy and he still went and got on the ball, so fair play to him.

“I was in a very similar boat at Bristol City having come through the youth set-up there. You do take a bit more weight on your shoulders when you’re a local boy, but like I say he’s mentally tough and I’m sure it will just run off his back.”

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McCarthy, who turned and gesticulated to the fans when they began to get on Hyam’s back, said: “I said ‘shut up’, that’s what I said. He’s running around with an egg on his head (from a first half collision), he’s a local lad, we going for Category One (academy) status, we want 50% of our players to come from our academy and he was getting the bird. I don’t like it.

“Support our players. When you’re having a tough time that’s when you need somebody to pat you on the back and cheer you on.

“I would have loved for him to score the winner because he’s such a great lad. He runs his socks off every week.

“He’s alright, it’s me that’s got the ump. If you’re in my camp you’re inside peeing out, not outside peeing in. I want my fans to make it hard for the opposition, not for us. Be hostile towards the team in the other coloured shirts.”

– What did you make of the boos towards Luke Hyam? Join Ipswich Town writer Stuart Watson at 1pm for a live webchat.

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