PLAYER INTERVIEW: Cole Skuse on coach tears, sharing fans’ frustrations and dressing room banter
Ipswich Town are now nearer seventh-place Norwich than they are second-place Derby. STUART WATSON spoke to midfielder Cole Skuse ahead of tonight’s Championship game against Sheffield Wednesday at Portman Road (7.45pm).
Q: Hi Cole. Another disappointing result on Saturday. I guess the atmosphere was a little flat on the journey home from south Yorkshire?
A: It was, yeah. As soon as I got on the bus I put my headphones on, put the laptop on and cried to myself!
Joking aside, it was a frustrating afternoon. The manner in which we lost the game was frustrating because it wasn’t really us. It was not really an Ipswich Town performance.
Q: Why do you think performances haven’t been as good recently?
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A: It could be down to a number of things. That’s always a hard question to answer. It’s never easy to put your finger on one thing. It could be a build-up of things.
It’s certainly not down to a want of trying. We’re never going to be a team that rolls over. We’ll always try our utmost. It just hasn’t clicked in the last few games.
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Q: The manager has just finished his pre-match press conference with us and seemed very upbeat. Does that help?
A: He’s unbelievable. Him and TC (assistant Terry Connor) bounce off each other. He doesn’t let anyone get too down. He had a few words after the game and a few words on Sunday when we had a look at the DVD, but he doesn’t get too high with the highs and too low with the lows.
Q: Is there a fear that, after so much hard work, you could end up slipping out of the top six?
A: That’s not even crossed my mind. We’ve not even spoken about it, to be honest. We’ve still got a cushion, so speak, for the play-offs. That’s not even been spoken about though. Although we’ve not picked up results recently we’ve not even spoken about a blip or anything like that. We’re just waiting to get that result and get back on that track we were on.
Top two is still our aim. There are a lot of games left and the top teams all still have to play each other. We’ll never be a team that gives up. We’ll just keep working hard, believing and see where that takes us.
Q: Has the team been over-reliant on Daryl Murphy for goals?
A: Daryl and Didz (McGoldrick) have been, I’d say, the best in the league as a partnership. You can never blame them for missing a chance because that’s probably the hardest thing in the game, putting the ball in the back of the net. That’s why clubs pay millions for top strikers.
They’ve been unbelievable as a pair, but it would be nice for others to chip in – myself included.
Q: Is it good to have a game so quickly after Saturday’s defeat?
A: It’s never nice to go a whole week on the back of a defeat because people keep talking about what happened. It’s always nice to have that quick turnaround. This will be another tough one though because Sheffield Wednesday have spent a bit of money and have definitely improved from last season. They’re still on the cusp of the play-offs.
Q: Do you understand the supporters’ frustrations at the moment?
A: Of course, yeah. If you look at the Wigan side we drew with 0-0, I know they’re in the bottom three, but their personnel is still very, very good. I know it wouldn’t have been a great spectacle on a freezing, snowy day though.
You can understand the frustration and we felt just as frustrated. At the weekend, 1,800 fans travelled to Rotherham, which is not exactly around the corner. You can’t knock them. They’ve been phenomenal.
You’d love every fan to be on-side, but you have to understand where they are coming from as well. I’m sure when I was a young boy going to watch Bristol City play there were times I was wanting to throw my hot-dog at them!
You have to understand where the fans come from. They’re entitled to every opinion they give. But you would like them on-side all the time, yeah.
Q: The spirit in this group is often spoken about. Is that what’s going to get you through this tough patch?
A: We’ve got great characters here. I came in this morning and just as I was getting changed I’ve looked over my shoulder and there’s this bloke with a rather large head, Luke Chambers, that’s come bouncing in the door shouting and jumping around saying ‘come on Tractor Boys!’ You’re never going to get too down in this dressing room because there too many people that will drag you up again. The spirit’s unbelievable.
– Follow @Stuart_Watson on Twitter for live match updates tonight.