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Kings of Anglia Issue 9 Magazine Offer

‘It doesn’t have to be a target man... Freddie’s movement is a big asset’ - Hurst on Sears

PUBLISHED: 10:45 19 October 2018

Freddie Sears impressed as the lone striker in Ipswich's win at Swansea. Photo: Pagepix

Freddie Sears impressed as the lone striker in Ipswich's win at Swansea. Photo: Pagepix

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Paul Hurst is confident Freddie Sears can lead the line for Ipswich Town despite not fitting the traditional target-man mould.

Paul Hurst has insisted Freddie Sears has what it takes to play as a lone striker for the Blues.    Picture: STEVE WALLERPaul Hurst has insisted Freddie Sears has what it takes to play as a lone striker for the Blues. Picture: STEVE WALLER

Sears impressed at Swansea as he ran the channels and occupied the Welsh side’s defence for much of Town’s 3-2 win, with the former Colchester man and summer signing Kayden Jackson now shouldering the load up front following injuries to Jon Walters and Ellis Harrison.

Walters and Harrison offer more physicality and a bigger aerial presence than Sears, who forced Mike van der Hoorn’s own goal at the Liberty Stadium, but Hurst believes Sears’ movement and quick-thinking mean he is capable of playing up front alone.

MORE: Donacien on life at Ipswich, best position, being discussed in House of Commons and working with legend Butcher

“It certainly doesn’t have to be a big target man,” Hurst said. “There’s a stereotype there. What they often have is pace. Freddie is certainly not slow, but his biggest asset, to me, is his movement.

“There’s a saying that the first couple of yards is in the head. Freddie sees things very quickly and is almost then reliant on his team-mates to understand what he’s going to do and where he’s going to move.

“You’ve got to be willing to pass him the ball. There’s no point booting it over his head and hoping that he’ll win his headers. He’ll try his heart out for us, but that’s not his strength – clearly.”

MORE: ‘I’m confident in them so I don’t see anything happening’ - Hurst on striker search

Sears started on the opening day of the season against Blackburn in a wide role but then didn’t start a league game until the visit to Swansea, dropping out of the matchday squad for the home clash with rivals Norwich, before a groin injury also kept him sidelined.

But Hurst believes the 28-year-old dealt with the situation well and, speaking ahead of tomorrow’s game with Queens Park Rangers, the Ipswich boss is hoping the striker can reproduce his Swansea display if afforded a longer run in the side.

“There seemed to be a bit of fuss that Freddie wasn’t involved, but I think I left him out once and then he was injured,” Hurst said. “Those sort of things can always grow legs and get carried away.

MORE: ‘He sees a pass that others don’t’ – Hurst ready to call on Dozzell again

“Freddie’s been fine, he’s that type of character. He comes into work, often has a smile on his face and gets on with his job. He’s a character in the changing room without being the loudest.

“His performance at Swansea rightly drew praise from the fans, his team-mates and myself. We’re hoping we can see more of that.”

Former Ipswich Town goalkeeper Shane Supple has announced his retirement from football for a second time, due to a persistent hip injury.

Tristan Nydam is keen to make the most of his loan stay in Scotland but is still keeping a firm eye on parent club Ipswich Town.

Former Ipswich Town boss Paul Hurst is the favourite in the betting as his former club Shrewsbury search for a new manager.

ANDY WARREN takes a look at the changes made by Paul Lambert since his appointment as Ipswich Town manager.

Former Ipswich Town loanee Richie Wellens has been appointed Swindon Town manager, naming Noel Hunt as his assistant.

Stuart Watson and Andy Warren are back with the latest episode of the Kings of Anglia Podcast.

Jordan Spence has hailed the impact of manager Paul Lambert and believes the Blues can pull themselves away from trouble if they maintain the high standards they have set.

In our daily feature, we take a look at what happened on this day in Ipswich Town’s history. Today features wins over Arsenal and Stoke, while we also remember the late Marton Fulop.

Flynn Downes has been called into the England U20 for their game with Germany in Colchester next week.

Karl Fuller reflects on the Reading draw, plus the generosity of Ipswich Town fans

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