We’re ready to make a top-six push, says Cole
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town midfielder Cole Skuse says a top-six finish is very much in the players’ sights heading into the busy festive period.
The Blues were among the relegation favourites on the eve of the season, but find themselves ninth and five points adrift of the play-off places with almost half of the campaign gone.
“I think we’ve got to be happy with the start to the season we’ve had,” said Skuse, speaking ahead of tomorrow’s Championship visit of Reading.
“It was a disappointing result last weekend (losing 2-0 at Middlesbrough), but we’re in a reasonable position and more than looking to the top six. We’re looking to really have a good push in the second half of the season.”
Having travelled 2,323 miles to play six away games in the last nine, Town now face five home games in their next seven.
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A repeat of their recent performances at Portman Road – wins against Preston (3-0) and Nottingham Forest (4-2) sandwiching an unfortunate draw against Sheffield Wednesday (2-2) – would bring plenty of festive cheer.
“Sitting on that bus for umpteen hours does leave you feeling like a tin man, so it’s good to have a few home games now,” said Skuse. “Our fans have been very vocal and behind us, so it’s something we are looking forward to.
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“You have to set up a little bit differently away from home, but we’ve been playing some good stuff at home. It’s not like we’ve been nicking results, we’ve been playing some real fluid football, some exciting football, and I’m hoping it’s being appreciated.
“We do want to make Portman Road a fortress. If you’ve got real good home form it gives a lift to everyone. That was the backbone of our play-off season.”
With Town scoring an average of two goals a game on Suffolk soil, Skuse added: “You cannot speak highly enough of the lads who have come in – Waggy (Martyn Waghorn), Garns (Joe Garner) and Santi (Bersant Celina).
“And when Didzy (David McGoldrick) is on form he’s up there with the best in the league, so it’s a really exciting time. To watch those lads in their pomp is a joy.
“As much as the back four, the goalie and maybe myself are doing our bit, as soon as the ball goes forwards you’re feeling excited like a fan because you know something is going to happen when we get it in the final third.
“They are also doing the flip side of things. They are not just going forwards like mavericks and saying ‘sod it, I’ll walk back and let Cole deal with it’. They are not doing that at all.
“Look at Santi’s goal against Forest. He’s done all the work going back and then sprints up to get a tap in.
“When players are busting a gut to get back, blowing out of their hoop, and then going up the other end to score, that is a joy.”