Roberts hopes he's done enough to keep his place... but he knows the goals must come
PUBLISHED: 13:31 05 November 2018
© Copyright Stephen Waller
Jordan Roberts hopes he has done enough to earn an extended stay in the Ipswich Town side but the former Crawley man knows the Blues' strikers need to find their shooting boots as they bid to stay in the Championship.
Having played a total of just 23 minutes during two substitute appearances prior to Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Preston, Roberts was a surprise choice for the central striking role as Paul Lambert named his first Ipswich Town side.
He performed well on what was his full Championship debut, with his ability in the air a particular highlight while he also won the Ipswich penalty converted by Freddie Sears.
That was just the second league goal scored by an Ipswich striker so far this season, following Kayden Jackson’s header against Brentford, and Roberts knows that needs to change.
“It’s my first season in the Championship so I have to go out there and prove a point in a way,” he said.
“The fans haven’t seen too much of me and I was out there to prove a point and try to stamp my authority on the game.
“I have full belief in myself to bring something extra to the team and hopefully I have done enough to keep my place.
“From the start I was just happy to be in the starting XI so to go out there and make my full league debut was a big thing for me.
“I think I worked hard and made an impact on the game and was able to leave everything out there.
“I’ve been working hard, staying fit and doing what I can so when you get an opportunity to go out there you have to take it with both hands.
“I was exhausted when I came off the pitch but the manager asked me to leave everything out there and that’s what I did.
“We do have to start scoring goals. We work on different things in training and I’m sure it will come.
“Hopefully we can start scoring some goals and move up the table.”
Roberts, signed as a winger by former boss Paul Hurst, played in a central role at times for Crawley and has also featured in that position for Ipswich’s Under 23 side.
“Me playing down the middle is something I don’t mind doing because I think I have the attributes to do that and bring something to the team,” he said.
“We’ve been working on different patterns of play this week and I was down the middle so when you go out there you need to adapt to the position.
“When called upon I have to go out there and do what I can. It’s all about adapting because you might play out of position sometimes but you need to put in a shift wherever you’re asked to play for the team.
“I’m happy to play anywhere on the pitch but you have to be able to make an impact, which I thought I did.
“I enjoy playing down the middle and hopefully I can start adding some goals to the team.
“It allows me to show a different side to my game, holding the ball up, and I enjoy it.
“It’s been a bit frustrating, not being involved as much as I’d like to be, but when you get your opportunity you have to take it. I’m looking to build on that now.”
The Blues’ draw with Preston on Saturday was characterised by a high-tempo, high energy style imprinted by new manager Paul Lambert, with Roberts admitting they need to maintain those levels going forward.
“There was a bit of disappointment in the changing room after the game but that’s something for us to build on going forward,” he said.
“We’ve set the bar high now with our intensity, our training and how we play so there’s no reason we should dip below that.
“If everyone goes out there and gives their all then we have a lot of people with points to prove. We go out there and give our all and if we keep doing that then points will come.
“That point could be massive come the New Year so we take, it build on it and go to Reading for a massive game next weekend.”