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Nsiala: It Doesn't Matter What League You Come From
Friday, 3rd May 2019 17:34

Town defender Toto Nsiala is unhappy that he and his team-mates who arrived last summer from Leagues One and Two have, in some quarters, been blamed for the club’s relegation from the Championship.

Following his release by Everton as a teenager, 27-year-old Nsiala spent the bulk of his career at lower league level before being transferred from Shrewsbury in May last year, one of 12 new signings made by manager Paul Hurst after he succeeded Mick McCarthy in the hot seat at Portman Road.

“I don’t think it matters what league you’ve come from,” said Nsiala. “I’ve seen and heard a lot of people saying the lads from League One and League Two have not had the best step-up but I don’t think that has really been the case.

“At other clubs players from the lower leagues have stepped up and played really well in the Championship, so that’s just another excuse that I think is a bit harsh and disrespectful to the lads in question.

“They’ve all tried their best but the team hasn’t worked. Now we’ve got to find a way of gelling, getting stronger and winning games next season.

“It’s got nothing to do with players from League One or League Two. There are players in those leagues that I’m surprised are still playing there and haven’t stepped up yet. It’s just how it has worked out.”

Nsiala is also honest enough to admit he has not been at his best since joining Town. Asked if he was happy with his form over the past eight or nine months, he replied: “No, not personally. I’ve not been at my best but it was always going to be a bit of a tough step-up, especially without having pre-season with the club and coming into it straight away.

“I’ve always felt I’ve been chasing things fitness-wise but at least that will be different next season.

“Has playing in the Championship improved me as a player? I’ve got to be honest and admit the results would say not a lot.

“But in training with the manager and having better players around me I’ve had to be switched on and I believe I have learned a lot, especially in the last couple of months, and I’ll be taking that into next season with me.”

The team spirit that exists at Town is another reason why Nsiala believes he could be back in the Championship next year. “With most teams in our situation, bottom of the table and getting relegated, there would be a split in the dressing room and a lot of unhappiness,” he explained.

“But here we have a lot of togetherness – we go to the cinema together and things like that – and we’ve all said that whatever happens we stick together.

“Even the lads that are not involved, they are still rooting for the lads who are, and that is not always the case at clubs that are relegated. It has surprised me but it’s something I have really liked.”

Nsiala has been in Lambert’s starting line-up for the last three games and will be hoping to make it four in a row when Leeds come to town on Sunday for the final fixture of the league programme.

Reflecting on the season overall, he said: “I’ve been in and out of the team. It’s been tough but you just have to make sure you train properly, which is what I’ve done, and just get on with it.

“We’ve not had many clean sheets but that’s just the way it has been. At the other end we’ve hit the bar or the post, or missed a really good chance, and then the other team has gone and scored.

“Our luck hasn’t been great either. There have been a lot of times when the other team has hit a post and the ball’s bounced back perfectly for them to score but at the other end it wouldn’t happen to us. It’s what it is meant to be, that’s how I see things.

“It’s just been a mental thing coming here, trying not to over-think things. I tend to shoot myself by reading comments and seeing what people say about me. It can lead to you starting to doubt yourself and that shows out on the pitch.

“Recently I’ve just stopped letting it get to me and I don’t care what people say. I’ve just tried to perform as well as I can and look to become mentally stronger.

“I did see a sports psychologist, probably about six years ago, and what has stuck with me is that you’re only as good as what you think of yourself.

“There are a lot of people with opinions and they say stuff but I’m learning that you can’t let it get to you.

“After Sunday I’m going to turn Instagram off. I’ve been on there a lot, looking at comments from players at teams that are getting promoted or in the play-offs.

“It actually hurts to see some of my friends doing well. Yes, I’m happy for them but I want to be in the same situation as them.

“Come Sunday I’m going to stay away from it for a couple of weeks then I’ll recharge the batteries and refresh again ready for next season.”

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Knightsy added 17:46 - May 3
It does matter, what a stupid thing to say.

No previous experience in the championship, so no excuses, the whole team just hasn't been up to it a long with the experienced players we had.

However losing, Waghorn, Garner, McGoldrick and even Webster hasn't helped either.

Get over it, and push on for promotion next season.

Radlett_blue added 17:55 - May 3
So, Toto has found it hard stepping up, but filling the squad with lower league players isn't why we've gone down?
Does not compute, Captain!

FromIpswichToPhoenix added 18:09 - May 3
One or two players and I'd agree with that, but we decimated out senior first team and replaced them with league 1 and league 2 players, which... makes us a league 1 or league 2 team. It's as simple as that. You put a championship team in the premiere league with nothing but championship players and they get stuffed. We don't blame the players, we blame Hurst and Evans.

ipswichheritage added 18:12 - May 3
Right ok..! Hopefully when lambert speaks to the squad on Monday and individual players - hopefully he’ll inform this moron that he can find a new club. Obviously thick as two short planks. We need better players than this dross to get anywhere near competing in league 1. Please, please, please don’t consider this jerk for next season...

Saxonblue74 added 18:16 - May 3
Couldn't agree more, doesn't matter what league you come from. What does matter is being good enough to wear our shirt......and very few have been. No player should look to argue a point or justify the season we have just witnessed, focus your energy on putting this right.

Saxonblue74 added 18:18 - May 3
......totally contradicts himself, lge1 or two players are good enough but it's a "difficult step up"??!!

raycrawfordswig added 18:25 - May 3
Who’s fault is it then ?

raycrawfordswig added 18:25 - May 3
Who’s fault is it then ?

heathen66 added 18:28 - May 3
What he is saying is correct, it is not the new signings that are the reason why we are relegated. Howling errors by the sulking Chambers, Skuse, Spence Knudsen etc cost us many many points and is a major factor as to why we are where we are.
Picking Knudsen time and time again when apparently according to PL he has wanted to leave for a year now.
These are the players who have really under performed, but were picked week in and week out by Hurst and Lambert.
Playing one up top and never really 'going for it' is also another major factor, especially when you are finding it very difficult to defend. If you cannot defend then you need to show more attacking intent
Nsiala played well, but was dropped for under-performing senior pros, or someone elses loan players, even when it was too late.
Look at the consistant performances of Kenlock now he is playing regularly.
If Nsiala had had as many chances as Knudsen, Spence, Chambers, then perhaps we 'may not' be in the position we are in now. The same could also be said for Donacien.

ITFCsince73 added 18:34 - May 3
Trouble is we’ve had L1 and L2 standard players for a lot longer than just this season.
We should of got relegated on more than one occasion in recent years, but for the heroics of Bart, and him alone.

ITFCsince73 added 18:35 - May 3
Heathen66. Totally agree with all you say.

Les57 added 18:57 - May 3
I agree with the majority of comments made by most here. Players were by and large not good enough with odd exceptions. Even then those that have improved took along time to do so which is expected from moving up to a very different league.
The one thing that continues to bother me is our injury record. Surely it cannot be down to bad luck the amount of sicknotes we have. This must be addressed as if our training regime is causing this then fundamental changes are required.

soclopath added 19:03 - May 3
Bad management from the start until the end of the season,wait until you hear the drivell pour from Lamberts mouth next week then we will all see what we are in for next season.

Carl2588 added 19:29 - May 3
I do like the lad but he's very contradictory in his views here saying it doesn't matter then saying he's found it hard to step up 🤔 nethertheless he will be a pivotal figure next season

Dolphinblue added 20:33 - May 3
Hmmm...odd comment 🤔

Dolphinblue added 20:33 - May 3
Nsiala comments that is

BeattiesBackPocket added 20:37 - May 3
He’s not completely wrong the issue was the quality of the players we got from those divisions not what division they came from. We bought a striker who had not even got into double figures in previous seasons yet you then have a striker like Norwood whos nearly got 30 goals who’s available on a free. The issue is unless we compete with the wages of top ten sides in whatever division we’re in we won’t get the quality we will only get bang average players and hope for the best. Don’t forget Holland, Johnson, Stewart, a bloody good team under burley mostly came from our youth set up and lower league players.

heathen66 added 20:50 - May 3
Had Bialkowski not been so superb in the last 3 seasons we would have been relegated in any one of those seasons.
This season Bart has not been at his best (his admission too) and we get relegated.
Not rocket science

Saxonblue74 added 21:57 - May 3
Heathen66, certainly a factor but the "goals for" column is the biggest issue in my opinion.

ronnyblue added 22:48 - May 3
None of the players brought to the club by Hurst have been worth wearing the shirt! The burden of carrying that load, in my opinion, screwed the form of the remaining senior players leading to the current position. I would like to think that the current manager will be bold enough to get shot of them and rebuild with players worthy of wearing the shirt!

MrTown added 01:41 - May 4
Would expect him to say no less. As whole they haven’t been good enough though, Nolan has been the most improved, Edwards is on and off more than a light switch but certainly offers a dynamism.

Donacien, been sent back to where he came from.
Roberts loaned out after only a couple of Town appearances.
Harrison and Jackson - our goal replacements for Waghorn/Didzy/Garner, cost more than the three combined and have scored 4 league goals between them.
Toto can go from hero to zero in less than 2 minutes. Has performed well, has performed poorly just as many times.

It’s very reasonable to ask a few questions.

tractorboybig added 07:14 - May 4
sorry old chap but supported since 1962 and you lot are the biggest load of crap to wear the shirt, in fact I don't think a lot of you are even div one standard.

ChrisFelix added 09:28 - May 4
I don't think toto is a bad player, neither are the 2 young full backs. It's the clown who stands along side them. May fist pump but certainly does not motivate the players around him. Looked OK with good pros along side him such as Berra & Collins. Otherwise a Big weekness & why we concede so many goals

thundercat600 added 10:38 - May 4
Listen up sunshine, if you and your mates who were in the lower leagues were any good you would not have been there

dukey44 added 12:45 - May 4
Got to say agree slightly but seriously our tactics from the two managers has been rubbish as well? The players play as they are told to and train too or am I wrong?

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