Wilnis discovers it's never too late

WHILE thousands of students have been celebrating exam success, Blues' players have been given extra homework in a bid to turn their season around.Ipswich Town defender Fabian Wilnis revealed that, even though he has just turned 36, he is studying hard to help his team face their toughest test so far.

By Derek Davis

WHILE thousands of students have been celebrating exam success, Blues' players have been given extra homework in a bid to turn their season around.

Ipswich Town defender Fabian Wilnis revealed that, even though he has just turned 36, he is studying hard to help his team face their toughest test so far.

With just one point on the board, Town go to QPR tonight knowing they could be stuck in the bottom three for another fortnight at least if they can't find at least a draw.


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The experienced Wilnis has seen it all before and is confident Town can climb the table and has praised the new-look backroom staff for their innovative ideas, including crib sheets on the opposition which Town players can study before the game.

It is initiatives like this that Wilnis believes will see the Blues through, although he warns the whole process may take time to bed in.

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He said: “It is going to take time for everyone to gel. We have a new backroom staff and they are working their socks off to make everything right. It is very professional in their approach.

“Before every game, we get a sheet with all the opposition on it so we know all about the players we will be up against.

“We know how they will play at set pieces and we study those before every game. We have not done that before so, in many ways, this is a more professional approach. Because we know their strengths and weaknesses, we really believe we can go to QPR and get something from the game.”

The Blues have also been honest in the appraisal of their own performances and looking to put things right.

Wilnis said: “We have been working on our own weaknesses and we recognise that we concede too many goal from set pieces.

“We just want to get that first win under our belts. We have been a bit unfortunate so far this season, particular at Wolves and even against Hull.

“We just need that extra bit of luck and a cutting edge and the goals and win will come.”

Not for the first time in his Town career, Wilnis has been largely confined to the sidelines as Town struggle - no wins in five attempts and just one point from a possible 12 - but the Dutchman is biding his time.

Wilnis said: “Personally, I would like to play in every league game and, the way I see it, I should have played in every game but, then again, that is probably what every player on the bench would say.

“With me, you know what you get. I'm not one of those that is up and down and you never know what they are going to be like on a given day, with me I am consistent.”

Wilnis turned 36 on Wednesday and is too old and experienced to throw his toys out of the pram just because a manager is not playing him.

He has had similar experiences under George Burley and Joe Royle and feels he now knows how to best handle such a situation.

Wilnis added: “I have not spoken to the manager about it. There may come a time when I feel I need to but that time has not come. It is early days in the season. Of course I was disappointed not to play in those league games but it is a long season and plenty of things can happen.

“If there comes a time when the team continues not to do well and I get too frustrated at being on the bench perhaps I will speak to him but, for the moment, I am waiting for my chance and he knows I am there if he wants me.

“It was a similar situation last season under Joe Royle when Sito was chosen ahead of me, then I was called in as a centre-half and did okay.

“Then I filled in at left-back and went in at right-back so I ended up playing all along the line.

“In the end. I had a consistent sort of season but that was down to playing virtually all the time in some position or other.”

Wilnis is fast approaching 300 career games for the Blues and has shown it is never too late to learn new things.

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