‘Fans have every right to be dissatisfied... We have to do it on the pitch’ – Woolfenden

It's been a stop-start season for Ipswich Town defender Luke Woolfenden. Photo: Ross Halls

It's been a stop-start season for Ipswich Town defender Luke Woolfenden. Photo: Ross Halls - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town defender Luke Woolfenden says the club’s supporters have every right to feel a little dissatisfied at present.

The Blues are fifth in the League One table, with a game in hand, but Tuesday night’s 3-0 home loss to Hull City made it six defeats in nine across all competitions, with the three wins during that period, against Gillingham, Crewe and Shrewsbury, all pretty unconvincing.

“The fans have got every right to be dissatisfied if we’re not getting the results,” said Ipswich-born Woolfenden, the 22-year-old having been at the club since the age of 11.

“This club isn’t where it should be. I see us as a Championship club that should be in the top half and challenging for the play-offs or even automatic promotion.

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“We’re obviously not near it at the moment. That season under Mick (McCarthy), when we came close and were beaten in the play-offs by Norwich, was the last time they had anything to shout about.”

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He continued: “I don’t think either the performances or the results have been good enough recently. But if there had been fans at the game against Shrewsbury, for example, when we scored a 97th minute winner, it would have been a lot different. As it was, the fans were sitting at home thinking ‘it’s Shrewsbury and we haven’t played well’.

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“But stick them in the ground and we score a 97th minute winner, they’re going to go nuts whether we played well or not. If they had been able to attend I don’t think the reaction to that game would have been so bad.

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“Obviously, I can understand the reaction to us losing 3-0 at home to Hull on Tuesday because it just wasn’t good enough. Yes, we had a lot of the ball, but we never really looked like scoring because we never created enough clear-cut chances. Also, we weren’t good enough defensively in our own box.”

Woolfenden added: “It’s probably easy for people to look in from the outside and think things are going well because we’re fifth in the table with a game in hand. But being from Ipswich myself I know there has not been a lot for the fans to get excited about in recent years.

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“That season we got to the play-offs was probably the last time the fans had anything to make them proud. Whatever it is, a cup run or getting promoted, it benefits us all. If we go up this season it will lift the entire town, not just the club and the players.”

On tomorrow afternoon’s game against fellow top-six side Charlton, Woolfenden said: “First and foremost, I think it’s massive that we just put in a good performance. But if we have to win ugly I’ll take that. Six points from nine in three home games in a week would be okay and there’s still an awful long way to go this season.

“I wouldn’t say it’s a must-win game but we go into most games thinking we should win them and this won’t be any different.

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“We have a lot of players out through injury and if we can get at least some of them back, sooner rather than later, I don’t think there are many teams in this league who have a stronger squad than ours. But it’s about us proving it where it matters most, out on the pitch.

“There’s no way we can get promoted if we can’t beat the teams around us in the league table, is there? I mean, even if we end up in the play-offs that’s what we will have to do in order to go all the way. Why don’t we start on Saturday?

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“For whatever reason we haven’t done it yet, whether we haven’t played well enough or we’ve been on the wrong end of some strange refereeing decisions.

“I still say we have a squad that can beat any team in this league but we need to rediscover the consistency we showed at the start of last season and again this year. We need to bring that into the big games as well.”

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