‘There’s good competition in midfield and we push each other’ - Nolan’s relishing the challenge at Town
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Ipswich Town midfielder Jon Nolan says the competition for places in the Blues’ engine room is driving him to be a better player.
The 26-year-old was one of former boss Paul Hurst’s slew of summer signings, arriving with him along with defender Toto Nsiala from Hurst’s ex-club Shrewsbury, but has struggled to hold down a consistent place in the team.
However, he’s now appeared in the last three games for the Blues, returning to the side for the first time in more than a month aginst Norwich, coming on to score in the draw against Derby and starting against Stoke as the sides shared the points on Saturday.
In all he’s made 22 appearances for Town so far this season, scoring two goals. His return to the side coincides with Paul Lambert switching to the diamond formation which he used to great effect in his time at Norwich, and which seems to fit Nolan.
“The new formation suits me well,” he said. “I’ve got a licence to get into the box so it is hard work in the middle of the park but I’m more than willing to put it in.
“There’s good competition in midfield as well and we push each other, but most importantly we have a job to do.
“Like I said it’s hard work, but I think all of the lads are enjoying it. I’m training hard as well and I’m determined to show the gaffer what I have to offer.”
Noland chipped in with 10 goals from midfield for Shrewsbury last campaign, and says he hopes to add to his tally as the Blues continue to try and pull off what would be the greatest single escape from relegation in Championship history.
Town remain nine points from safety with just 13 games left to save themselves – and the next two look huge, away at Wigan and at home to Reading, two sides who are also in the relegation shake-up.
“Hopefully I can add a few more (goals) this season,” said Nolan. “I scored quite a few last year so I’m eager to add to my tally.”
Of the relegation battle, Nolan added: “Things can be tough because we check other results in the league, but really the concentration is on ourselves because all we can do is pick up as many points as we can.”