'We're not expecting to go into League One and bounce back at a canter' – Skuse
PUBLISHED: 06:00 17 April 2019 | UPDATED: 11:49 17 April 2019
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Town midfielder Cole Skuse says the players are under no illusions as to how tough life in League One could be next season.
The rock-bottom Blues, relegated with four games to play, will soon be playing in the third-tier – a level the club has not been at since 1957.
Last year, all three of the Championship's relegated clubs – Wigan, Blackburn and Rotherham – bounced straight back up at the first time of asking. This season, Barnsley (2nd) and Sunderland (3rd) are vying for promotion, while Burton are currently ninth.
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“We are under no illusions,” said Skuse. “We're not expecting to go into League One and bounce straight back at a canter, as much as we would love to. You don't see teams go down and run away with it with 100 points.
“It's a gruelling league, you play a lot of games and it is not going to be easy.
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“We'll be the biggest scalp in the league for a team coming to Portman Road to play Ipswich.
“However, we want to get back as soon as possible. We don't want to linger in League One. Our self-pride, our desire means we want to get back in the Championship playing against good sides.”
Town now face a long Good Friday trip to face Preston. They host Swansea at Portman Road on Easter Monday, then finish the campaign with games against two sides vying for automatic promotion – Sheffield United (a) and then Leeds (h).
“We're not going to down tools and throw it all in,” said Skuse. “We're not going to put our flip-flops on and think we are on holiday.
“It's an absolute travesty what has happened.
“The least we can do for everyone is try our nuts off, finish as high in the table as possible then carry that momentum into next year.
“If we get off to a flyer next year this place will be rocking, selling out week-in, week-out.”
Reflecting on last Saturday's 1-1 home draw with Birmingham, the 33-year-old said: “We didn't go out with a whimper and gave a good account of ourselves second half, but on the whole it's not been a good enough season.
“Whoever the manager decides has a jersey over the games left, they've got to try their utmost for self pride first and foremost. You are representing Ipswich Town and must try your nuts off.”