Sears towers on shock return
Freddie Sears has made a big impact since returning from the footballing wilderness at Scunthorpe.
THE return of Freddie Sears from the obscurity of a loan spell at Scun-thorpe has been nothing short of miraculous.
Not only was he called back from his temporary deal with the Championship club, he was thrust straight into the first team for the Boxing Day clash at Fulham and not in his familiar position as striker, but playing on the right wing.
It has been a strange few days for the 21-year-old Romford boy, but after good performances against both the Cottagers and against Everton on Tuesday, Sears feels he is learning his new role fast.
“I played there a couple of times for the reserves and at Scunthorpe I played a lot on the wing in a 4-3-3, but it is hard work,” he said. “I was tired coming off the Fulham game and against Everton it has been very tiring too.”
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Sears certainly did not look out of place on the wing and he feels that he can adapt to life back in the Premier League.
“It’s a role I can see myself getting used to,” he insisted. “I feel I have played okay in both games, it’s good I can show the manager I can play there if needed.
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“If he sticks me up front I’ll be happy to go up front, it he wants to play out wide I’ll go there.”
Mark Noble and James Tomkins both seemed to benefit hugely from loan spells at Ipswich and Derby respectively and it seems that Sears may have gone through the same sort of transformation during his time under Ian Baraclough at Scunthorpe.
“It grows you up,” said Sears, who seems to have beefed up too. “The Championship is a tough demanding league physically and mentally.
“You play a lot of games during a short space of time and I think it’s definitely helped me out. I’ve come back a lot quicker and a lot stronger.
“It’s a lot more competitive in the Championship than it is playing for the reserves, because there are points to play for. The fans, the stadiums are there and so it is a good place to go and learn your trade.”
Sears, of course, has something of a stigma to overcome. At the age of just 18, the striker’s debut for the Hammers against Blackburn ended with him scoring the winning goal.
Since then things have not gone to plan for the youngster. 34 more appearances for West Ham, 19 for Crystal Palace, 10 for Coventry City and another nine for Scunthorpe and he has failed to add to that tally.
That’s 72 games without a goal and though he hasn’t had any luck, it is a run of blank games that would seriously affect some players.
Sears himself, is learning to live with it: “It doesn’t really worry me,” he insisted. “I’d be a liar if I said I didn’t want to score, but it’s nothing I go out and think about.
“I want to play for the team and get three points. If we win 3-0 and I don’t score, I am happy, if I score I’ll be even happier.”
So will the West Ham fans who have been impressed with the improved Sears since he was thrust back into the limelight on Boxing Day.
The player feels that he has certainly improved since he was sent north.
“I feel refreshed and really happy to be back,” said the West Ham fan. “Sometimes it’s good to go and come back and I feel like a new man again.”
For many West Ham fans that must be exactly what it feels like. With the addition of Sears to the squad, and in a new position, it is just like having a brand new player.