‘He’s done well but he’s got to continue to do well’ – Hurst on Knudsen contract

PUBLISHED: 17:11 13 September 2018

Jonas Knudsen has made 133 appearances for the Blues since joining in a £300k deal from hometown club Esbjerg in 2015. Photo: Steve Waller

Jonas Knudsen has made 133 appearances for the Blues since joining in a £300k deal from hometown club Esbjerg in 2015. Photo: Steve Waller

© Copyright Stephen Waller

Ipswich Town manager Paul Hurst admits he likes what he has seen from left-back Jonas Knudsen, but says it is too early to start contract discussions.

Jonas Knudsen battles with West Ham's Ryan Fredericks during pre-season. Photo: Steve WallerJonas Knudsen battles with West Ham's Ryan Fredericks during pre-season. Photo: Steve Waller

The Danish international is now in the final year of his deal, the club having taken up a 12 month extension last December, and could potentially walk away as a free agent next summer.

Knudsen, who turns 26 on Sunday, is one of only three players to have started every league game under the Blues’ new boss and has said he is keen to talk to owner Marcus Evans about a new deal.

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Asked if he had spoken to Evans about that, Hurst replied: “At the minute, no. Would I like him to stay if he continues to do well? Then yes. But I’ve spoken to Jonas and said at the minute it’s too early to make a decision and that’s where I’m at with it really.

“Yes, he’s done well but he’s got to continue to do well. He’s another one who shows a good attitude to things, so things point generally positively. But I just want to see it over a longer period than what it’s been so far.”

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Jonas Knudsen is now in the final year of his Ipswich Town contract - the club having already triggered a 12 month extension clause last December. Photo: Steve WallerJonas Knudsen is now in the final year of his Ipswich Town contract - the club having already triggered a 12 month extension clause last December. Photo: Steve Waller

Knudsen, reiterating comments made in the club programme recently, said: “Of course I would like to hear something from the club. I haven’t heard anything from the owner and it is down to him. I want to talk but the first move has to come from him and then we have to take it from there.

“I would like to have a look at a new contract, and also sign a new contract, because I have been happy here for over three years now.

“But I also have to look after myself because I’m in the last year of my Ipswich contract and I need to know what is going to happen. I would like to speak with him and see what’s going on.”

Jonas Knudsen scored in both East Anglian derbies against Norwich City during the 2016/17 season. Photo: PagepixJonas Knudsen scored in both East Anglian derbies against Norwich City during the 2016/17 season. Photo: Pagepix

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Asked if he saw himself as part of new boss Paul Hurst’s plans going forward, Knudsen replied: “Yes, of course. I still have a year, I’m a Town player and I really enjoy playing for them. It’s a new start and new starts take a little bit of time because we all have to get used to each other.

“I’m excited about it and the players he has brought in, but the most important thing right now is to get some more points on the board.

“Of course we want to play some very good football – and I think we have been – but we have to be clinical.

“That’s what the game is all about, being clinical in both boxes. You want to score goals at one end and not give away silly goals at the other.

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Jonas Knudsen rises above Blackburn's Dominic Samuel on the opening weekend of the Championship season. He is one of only three players to start every league game under new boss Paul Hurst so far. Photo: Steve WallerJonas Knudsen rises above Blackburn's Dominic Samuel on the opening weekend of the Championship season. He is one of only three players to start every league game under new boss Paul Hurst so far. Photo: Steve Waller

“I see myself as a part of it. It’s still new and we have to get used to it, but I’m enjoying it and I’ve enjoyed it the whole time I’ve been here.”

Asked how different life at the club is since Hurst took charge, Knudsen added: “It’s a little bit different under the new manager. He still wants to be solid but he wants us to play a little bit more, maybe, than we did under the old gaffer.

“That’s maybe a good thing because that’s what some people were asking for and that’s what we have tried to do this season.

Jonas Knudsen recently earned a recall to the Denmark squad and featured in the World Cup this summer. Photo: Empics Sports Photography Ltd.Jonas Knudsen recently earned a recall to the Denmark squad and featured in the World Cup this summer. Photo: Empics Sports Photography Ltd.

“I know we have not got as many points as we would have wanted but we have to admit we have conceded some stupid goals.

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“We have to cut them out of our game and make sure we have a clean sheet on Saturday at Hull because that makes it a lot easier to win a game.

“I like to play football but I’m open to anything, whether it’s Mick McCarthy’s style of football or Paul Hurst’s style of football.

“It’s not as if I have to play only one style of football because as a player you play as your manager asks you to play.

“I will be happy to play a little bit more football but this is still a new group of players and we have still to get to know each other a bit more.

“We are still in the first part of the process but there are some exciting things about it.”

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