Ipswich Town’s new recruit Hayden Coulson labelled his debut display last week as “alright” and has promised there is definitely more to come this season.
Coulson joined the Tractor Boys on a season-long loan earlier this month from Championship side Middlesbrough.
After Neil Warnock had bolstered his ‘Boro squad early in the summer, it became apparent that the young defender may struggle for game time and a loan move to Ipswich presented itself as an opportunity to compete for regular football with the League One promotion hopefuls.
The left-back, who can also adapt into a wing-back role, played 60 minutes of Saturday’s match against MK Dons, with Town grabbing a point after a 2-2 draw.
Saturday’s appearance was Coulson’s first senior start since the final day of last season when he played in Boro’s 3-0 defeat to Wycombe Wanderers, a game in which the 23-year-old made his 49th first team appearance for the Teessiders.
After the match Coulson said, as quoted by TWTD.co.uk: “Personally, I felt I did alright last week, but at the same time I didn’t think it was one of my better games. I just need to get used to how the gaffer wants us to play and settle down. There’s more to come, definitely.
“The move here had been in the pipeline for a couple of weeks or more and it was just trying to get everything sorted, so it was nice to finally get out there and get some minutes.
“I was excited about it and even leading up to it, getting a tour of the stadium, the training ground and all the facilities.”
It was a frustrating lead-up to the move for Coulson, though. He got struck by Covid whilst still in Teesside and that delayed the move to Ipswich for a week or two. The young Englishman admitted that Covid had also affected him physically and although he was up and ready after just a few days of illness, it will be more game time that will aid his full recovery.
“To be honest, the Covid took a little bit out of me. Three or four days after testing positive I had a couple of days where I was stuck in bed but after I was up again, and then when I got back to training, I got back to normal. When I was back on the treadmill I really got going again.”
When asked how long it might take him to gain full match fitness, Coulson replied: “The game time comes round pretty quickly to be fair and you soon get used to it, as long as you are starting that is.”
This move came at the right time for Coulson. He’s made a significant number of appearances in the ‘Boro first team already in his early career, which suggests he is very capable to play at that level. Ultimately, it was down to the lack of players at the North East club at the time, who could operate in that position which granted Coulson his game time.
This summer Warnock acted early and bolstered his options on the left which threw Coulson’s first team opportunities in the air. Ipswich and Paul Cook reacted quickly, though and made their feelings for Coulson known.
Ipswich are a club that belongs to playing at a higher level and everyone around the club will have high expectations again this season. There’s no doubt this will have been a key factor that influenced the defender’s decision to join as well as his own ambition for regular first team football.
Coulson even said himself it would have been nice to stay in Teesside and work to play in the Championship, but when all things were considered he admitted making the switch to Suffolk was his best option.