Everton loanee reflects on the season and opens up on what's next for him
Luke Garbutt spoke to the Club website following the news that the League One season has been curtailed, with the Everton loanee's spell at Portman Road also coming to an end.
A full transcript of the conversation is below:
Q: Garbs, what are your thoughts on the decision to curtail the League One season?
LG: The decision to end it on Tuesday was a bittersweet one for myself really. I’d have liked to have finished the season on the pitch and tried to win all the remaining games. I wanted to leave on a high and hopefully in a play-off place.
It’s disappointing to finish the season under points per game but with the money and the financial situation, it couldn’t conclude. It’s frustrating but we’ve got to live with it.
Q: Have you spoken to the other lads since the decision was made?
LG: We’ve got a group chat and we’re all talking on there. They’re obviously disappointed about the season ending but as a footballer you’ve always got to take it one step at a time. There’s always going to be ups and downs as a footballer. They’re disappointed about not getting promotion but now they’ve got to focus on going again next season and trying to gain promotion. A club like Ipswich shouldn’t be in League One. They’ve just got to focus on doing the best they can in pre-season to prepare themselves for a successful campaign next time.
Q: Now the League One season and your loan spell at Town is over, how do you reflect on your time at Portman Road?
LG: As a Club and a collective, we’ve obviously failed in what we wanted to achieve. We wanted to gain promotion and we fell short. Especially towards the turn of the year onwards, we struggled for form.
On a personal note, I think I’ve had a good solid season. I’ve had a good rapport with the fans. I’ve really enjoyed my time here. The Club is a great club that doesn’t deserve to be in this league. It’s just disappointing that we couldn’t gain promotion when things were looking so good. We were on a good run of form, we were relatively consistent but then we had a massive drop off and were never able to recover.
I’ve played pretty much all the games and my form has been relatively good throughout the season, although I thought I could have done a little better in the weeks before lockdown. On a whole, it’s been a good one personally and it’s been a disappointing one as a Club because a club of Ipswich’s status should definitely be in the automatic promotion spots, if not winning the league. From that point of view, it’s been a failed season really.
Q: How does the season rank amongst your career so far?
LG: Towards the start of the season, the games were really good. I got injured but then I came back into the side and we were winning games. I’d probably say it’s one of my most consistent seasons of my career so far. I’ve had two or three consistent seasons and this is probably my fourth one. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time here. The manager has given me the belief and confidence to go out and be a fixture in the team so I can only thank him for that. The fans have been really good to me. I’ve had a good relationship with them. It’s been nice playing in front of 20,000 at Portman Road. I’ve had a really good time, looking back. Like I said, it’s just disappointing that we couldn’t finish the games and try to salvage a play-off spot.
Q: With the season now officially over, it must be nice that you can focus on what is best for you and your career now?
LG: Definitely. Tuesday was a big thing. It was dragging on for too long, the uncertainty of possibly going back. Now there’s real clarity, I can focus on what the future holds in terms of myself personally. Ipswich can move forward as a football club. The Club will be disappointed but now there is closure on the season, they can move on as a football club and build for next season where hopefully they will have a positive season. There’s better days ahead for the Club, I’m sure.
Q: What’s next for you?
LG: I’m out of contract with Everton this Summer. Once everything is wrapped up football wise, I’ll have ongoing talks with my representative, my agent. We’ll put something together and see what options I do have. I’ll see what clubs are interested, see what Ipswich are saying.
Right now, it’s early days so I don’t really know what my future holds. It’ll be a drawn out process throughout the Summer. Hopefully I can get to a point where I’ve got a decision to make on a number of clubs. That’s not to say that I don’t rule out a permanent move to Ipswich if they were to offer me something through the Summer because I really enjoyed my time here. I would never rule that situation out.