Sears believes he’s beginning to fulfil his early potential

Freddie Sears shoots during the first half at Fulham

Freddie Sears shoots during the first half at Fulham

Freddie Sears believes he is beginning to fulfil his early potential as he continues to work towards a return to the Premier League with Ipswich Town.

The 26-year-old burst onto the scene with boyhood club West Ham in 2008, scoring the winner on his professional debut after coming off the bench against Blackburn at Upton Park, earning comparisons with Hammers legend Tony Cottee and being likened to fellow Iron youth product Joe Cole.

However, a succession of loan spells and a permanent move to Colchester in League One followed before Mick McCarthy brought him to Portman Road in January this year, where he hit the ground running with nine goals in the second half of last season and a further six in the first half of this.

As an impressive first year in Suffolk draws to a close, the forward is pleased with the progress he’s made as he chases a return to the top flight, and believes he’s beginning to show just why he was so highly regarded as a teenager.

“I think going to Colchester has helped me massively, playing football week in, week out, has really helped me,” he said.

“I came to Ipswich and kicked on from minute one, everything’s great about the club from the staff to the boys and I think I’ve really improved and am starting to fulfil my potential now.

“If you ask every footballer they want to be at the top level. I’ve had a taste of it and I would love to one day get back there and have another go at it.

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“We’re not looking past this year, though, we have a lot of big games coming up and we need to win them to hopefully be in amongst the top six at the end of the season.”

Sears has had to make his mark from an unfamiliar wide left position in recent weeks and, although he would prefer to be playing through the middle, is enjoying the freedom given to him by manager McCarthy.

He said: “I’d rather be up front, I’m a striker, but I don’t mind playing out there because it’s an attacking left midfield role and not a standard left mid.

“I’m playing as an attacker but when we lost the ball I have to tuck into the shape. The gaffer’s been brilliant, he’s allowed me to kind of go where I want.

“I’ve been enjoying it but obviously my main position is as a striker, I don’t want to be a left midfielder for the next for or five years.

“But I’m happy to be able to help the team and I’ll do everything I can.”

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