FABIAN Wilnis has warned that every ounce of Ipswich Town's famed team spirit is going to be needed when the new Championship season starts next week.The Dutchman joined the growing band of injured players after picking up a dead leg in the 1-0 defeat at Diosgyor but urged his fellow Blues to stick together.
FABIAN Wilnis has warned that every ounce of Ipswich Town's famed team spirit is going to be needed when the new Championship season starts next week.
The Dutchman joined the growing band of injured players after picking up a dead leg in the 1-0 defeat at Diosgyor but urged his fellow Blues to stick together.
The loss in Hungary follows defeats by Ujpest TE and Glasgow Rangers and the paper-thin Town squad is already looking stretched.
Nicky Forster missed the game with a dead leg, Dean Bowditch limped off with a sore foot, while Kevin Horlock and Jimmy Juan didn't fly out due to injuries.
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With Jim Magilton facing a three-match ban after his sending off against Ujpest on Friday, the Blues could be short on numbers come August 6 when they entertain Cardiff in the season-opener.
Wilnis warned Town face a tough start to the new campaign with such a small squad but insists the team must stay positive.
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He said: "We are disappointed about losing the past three games and in our performances in those matches.
"The thing now though is we have to show belief in each other and be positive.
"The senior players like myself, Jim (Magilton) Jason (De Vos) and Bam Bam (Richard Naylor) have to really stand up and be counted now and show the rest of the team we are going for it and help the youngsters through these games. We have to show the same team spirit as we have in past years.
"People know we are not performing as we should be because we have lost a lot of important players during the summer. We have brought in Nicky (Forster) and Sam (Parkin) who are good players and we have Academy boys coming through but you can't expect us to be A1 from day one.
"It is going to be hard but we all have to keep believing."
Wilnis went off during half-time as assistant manager Willie Donachie made wholesale changes to give the blossoming youngsters much-needed experience.
Wilnis believes the young players need to be guided through and should not have fingers pointed at them if things go wrong.
He said: "You can't blame the youngsters. They are going to make mistakes and learn from them. The whole point of them coming on trips like this is to learn. They need to take this experience home with them in their luggage.
"Diosgyor were a decent side and we did quite well first half with three at the back and there was some improvement but after the changes in the second half we gave away too many chances.
"We will keep working hard and staying positive and confident that it will come. But we know it will be hard with so many youngsters. That is not anyone's fault."
While the Hungarians are now ready to start their season, the Blues have almost a fortnight to go and have Atletico Madrid on Friday and then Colchester United as warm up games to come.
Wilnis said: "By next Tuesday we will pretty much know where we are in terms of readiness, perhaps even after the Madrid game, but we are missing players through injury as well.
"But really the squad is not as big as in previous years and we need everyone fit. Reinforcements would be good but that is down to the board and how the books look."
The squad were due to fly back from Hungary this morning and Blues boss Joe Royle is hoping to bring in a new player this week.