Skuse: I know Hyam and I need to contribute more in an attacking sense
Cole Skuse knows he and central midfield partner Luke Hyam need to do more going forwards for Ipswich Town.
Academy graduate Hyam has started the last 35 games in succession for the Blues, with Skuse having been an ever-present since his arrival from Bristol City this summer.
The duo certainly provide a great deal of energy and ensure that the opposition rarely get a moment on the ball.
The counter-argument is that neither affect the game enough in an attacking sense, Skuse’s tidy range of passing generally carried out in deep positions and Hyam far better off the ball than on.
Indeed, Skuse has scored just nine goals in more than 300 career appearances, while Hyam’s record reads one in 69.
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“Luke is very easy to play with,” said Skuse, who at 27 is five years older than Hyam.
“He’s also in the same boat as me where he feels as though he could be getting forwards a bit more and maybe scoring a few more goals. I’ll generally let him do that because he’s got younger legs than me!
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“If he bombs forward I’ll sit back a bit. The manager doesn’t pull us by the ear and say ‘you sit back and you go forwards’, he just allows us to play off each other – and I think we’ve done that quite well.
“It’s not often you see massive gaping holes in midfield. If Luke runs on then I’ll sit and vice versa.”
Skuse has come close to opening his Town goalscoring account of late, striking the post with a fine long-range strike against Sheffield Wednesday and having one cleared off the line against Burnley.
“I am getting a few ‘oohs’ and ‘ahhs’ aren’t I?” laughed the midfielder.
“I’m getting closer. I’ve hit the post, had one cleared off the line, had another scrape the post.
“A lot of people have said throughout my career I should get more goals.
“I feel as if I’m doing okay. I’d like to do a little bit more in terms of affecting the games in certain ways – not just goals, but assists and doing my bit going forward.”
Bristol-born Skuse came through the youth ranks at the Robins, but left his hometown club on a Bosman free transfer in the summer following their relegation to League One.
“A lot of people questioned whether I’d be able to move away from Bristol, but I’ve settled in well and really like it here,” said the 27-year-old.
“I’ve been back to Bristol once or twice I think, which is a good sign. I’m not itching to get in my car and drive back down the A12.
“The fact that my wife and little girl come up and visit all the time helps. It’s not like I really miss Bristol.
“My dad doesn’t miss a game and my mum comes to most home games too. That’s nice. I do see enough of them.”
Town host Barnsley in a televised match at Portman Road on Friday night. The Tykes are second-bottom of the Championship table, with Ipswich in 13th.