Millwall v Ipswich Town: Jonas ‘Mad Dog’ Knudsen ready to go to war at the heart of the Town defence
Jonas ‘Mad Dog’ Knudsen is ready to go to war at the heart of the Ipswich Town defence.
The Dane has produced two fine assists from left wing-back and left-back positions during Town’s opening three victories, but has also looked well-suited on the left-side of a back three.
And he may now be called upon to fulfil yet another role heading into tonight’s Championship match at Millwall given the injured Adam Webster and Tommy Smith have been ruled out for at least eight weeks.
Asked if he could partner skipper Luke Chambers in a 4-4-2 formation, the 24-year-old said: “If the gaffer calls on me at centre-half I am totally ready to go in there and win the headers and make the blocks.
“A clean sheet for a defender is the best thing. In football today, sometimes people only look at the offensive side of things, you get full-backs disappointed after a 1-0 win because they didn’t make an assist, but I’ve always liked to defend the goal.
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“I’ve always thought in my mind ‘defend first and the attacking side of it is a bonus’. We have wingers and strikers for that. Whether I am a full-back or a centre-back, I am still classed as a defender.
“It’s so nice to have Chambo (Luke Chambers) alongside me because he is the same as me, he wants to defend the goal. We have such a good feeling together.”
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Unfailingly polite and mild-mannered off the pitch, Knudsen’s competitive spirit on it led to team-mates nicknaming him ‘Mad Dog’ soon after his arrival from Esbjerg in 2015.
He explained: “On the pitch I am a totally different person to off it. I have to win. The worst thing for me is to lose. Even in training I want to win every time and get a little bit mad if my team doesn’t. I think that’s where the nickname came from.”
Knudsen sat out a few games at the back end of last season with a shoulder injury and homegrown youngster Myles Kenlock did well in his absence. Manager Mick McCarthy was quick to point out that Knudsen remained very much his first choice though.
“I’m happy for the loyalty from him,” said Knudsen. “You still have to take your chances though. I thought I did well last season, I think I had a great pre-season, so I think I deserve to play. The gaffer knows what he’ll get from me.”