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Skuse not ready to pass the baton on to younger generation yet

PUBLISHED: 17:00 19 December 2019

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert giving skipper Cole Skuse instructions last weekend. Photo: Steve Waller

Ipswich Town manager Paul Lambert giving skipper Cole Skuse instructions last weekend. Photo: Steve Waller

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich Town stalwart Cole Skuse says he is not ready to pass the baton on to a younger generation just yet.

Cole Skuse in action against Bristol Rovers. Photo: Steve WallerCole Skuse in action against Bristol Rovers. Photo: Steve Waller

Blues boss Paul Lambert reiterated last week that the long-serving duo of Luke Chambers and Skuse 'can't go on forever'.

Centre-back Chambers, 34, has missed the last five games with a back/neck injury, while Skuse, 33, has seen Jon Nolan, Flynn Downes and Andre Dozzell play ahead of him in midfield for the last two league games.

MORE: 'We're set up to play football, not long ball' - Nolan wants Town to get ball down and play

"I won't go on forever, but I'm far from that point yet," said Skuse, who was rested with a minor hip injury against Coventry and then played as a makeshift right-back in last weekend's 2-1 home defeat to Bristol Rovers due to the absence of unavailable duo Kane Vincent-Young (groin) and Janoi Donacien (virus).

Cole Skuse pictured during Ipswich Town's 2-1 defeat to Bristol Rovers at Portman Road. Photo: Ross HallsCole Skuse pictured during Ipswich Town's 2-1 defeat to Bristol Rovers at Portman Road. Photo: Ross Halls

"I feel really fit and really good. I feel as if I've had a reasonable start to the season. I played every league game up until Coventry. I feel as if I can offer something for a few more years after this one."

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Speaking last week, Lambert said: "Cole's been incredible for us, an incredible footballer. I've always said with Cole that I wish I had him six or seven years earlier.

"If anything happens to Cole then Andre or Emyr (Huws) have to be ready to come in. Andre's done really well. He's a really good player.

"I think him and (Flynn) Downes are playing exceptionally well together and I do think the partnership with England (Under 20s) has helped them with that as well.

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"They have great balance because one's a lefty (Dozzell) and one's a righty (Downes).

"Cole can't go on forever. I was 33 myself once. In my head I thought I could but it's impossible and I couldn't hit the standards I did when I was 26 or 27. That's impossible.

"Andre's play at this moment is of a really high level and if anything happened to Cole, whether he's injured or left out, he needs somebody to step into his shoes."

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Speaking ahead of tomorrow's sold-out League One game at 10th place Portsmouth, Skuse - who is set to be out of contract next summer - said: "They (Downes and Dozzell) are talents. They are England internationals and deserve every bit of plaudits they get.

"I'm not the one that picks the team, the gaffer picks the team, and he'll go with the one he wants to go with."

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