In the third and final part of the review of the 2023/24 season with Wes Hoedt, the defender discusses the January transfer window, his own personal achievements and sums up the campaign as a whole.

In the first part of the season’s reflections, Hoedt looked at last summer and the games that led up to the turn of the year.

Then in the second part, the Dutchman discussed results in 2024, and the changes at the training ground.

You talked about the January window not being good enough. Can you expand upon that?

“Firstly, the players that are here have to look in the mirror and honestly ask themselves ‘Have I been good enough?’

“Then the coaches have to look back and ask if they played the right way, and have we done everything we can?

“But then also the club needs to look at itself, and consider ‘did we help the team, or did we not?’

“In my opinion, in all three of those questions, the answer is going to be negative.

“That is quite harsh, but it is the truth.

“Overall, players, staff and the club as a whole, we haven’t been good enough this season.

“If you want to go anywhere, you have to start from a position of truth. That can be painful but it is the way.”

Do you think our squad was too thin this season?

“We have quality and a lot of good players, but sometimes you need that extra help and maybe that wasn’t there in our squad this season.”

You were close to playing every minute of every game. Was that a target you were trying to achieve, or was it because we didn’t really have any natural cover?

“I think it was a bit of both.

“Personally I felt it was important to play as many games at a high standard as I could.

“That was why when Ismael asked me if I wanted to rest during cup games that I said no.

“With my physique, I prefer to keep in a rhythm and keep playing, and that helps me more than rest.

“In fact, after my suspension, I felt my body started to crumble and I was struggling to even go on the pitch and train.

“I am better and prefer to keep my body healthy and fit by training and playing games.

“I’ve played 48 games and for me personally I think that’s a great achievement which showed I can easily play three games a week.

“I was really fuming with the referee the day I got booked to get suspended but I was also angry with myself.

“It was a stupid foul and I shouldn’t have done it. But I think I had already played nine or ten games on nine yellow cards, so that was an achievement in itself.

“I should have avoided it, especially as after that day it would have gone to 15 yellow cards.

“But it is very difficult to play with the breaks on and I almost made it.”

You were voted Player of the Season by the fans which must have given you some personal satisfaction?

“I felt I had a steady season, in which I would say there were three or four games where I did not perform at my level.

“But over 48 games I think in a lot of games I performed really steady at a high level and I am pleased with that.

“But also, like every other player, I need to look in the mirror and see what I can adjust and add to be a better player.”

You appear to be a player that doesn’t like to leave anything out on the pitch?

“Of course, this is my job and it’s my passion.

“For a player to respect their job and the responsibility they have in terms of the dream of being a professional footballer, I think that’s the bare minimum you should do.

“Then you can add quality and specific parts to your game to become even better.

“But it starts with giving your all every day, and trying to be better every day.

“I have seen so many players who had so much quality and could do things with a ball that a lot of us can’t.

“But if you don’t bring the heart and desire to succeed as a football player then so many players will not survive.

“That’s what sets people apart. If you don’t have as much quality as other players you can still reach high levels and have an amazing career.

If you were picking a player of the season, who would you choose?

“There are a few options.

“I have a lot of respect for Jake Livermore at his age, and the performances he put in. The same goes for Ben Hamer, who came in and did really well.

“I think Yaser Asprilla is a really bright young star who needs a few tweaks to get there, but he will.

“Tom Dele-Bashiru has been really good lately and Edo Kayembe had some really great games.

“I don’t think there has been a stand-out, and nobody really stood out for a long period of time. Lots of players had spells of good games, and that’s why it’s hard to choose.

“But based on quality I think Yaser. He has a lot elegance and quality, and he just needs to add some more grit and fight to his game.”

Which game did you most enjoy this season?

“I think personally it was Hull City away, but not because of the goal I scored!

“My performance that day was good, and as a team as well.

“We also enjoyed QPR at home, but there have been too many games where we had good spells but we didn’t finish the game on a high.

“So Hull away and QPR are at home were, for me, the most enjoyable.”

The goal that won you Goal of the Season at Hull – at what point did you think it was going in?

“Actually directly when I hit it, because you have a feeling when you hit a ball that it’s clean.

“When I saw the goalkeeper running back and then the moment it went over him, I knew he couldn’t catch it anymore and I knew it was going in.

“It was a goal that perhaps you might get the chance to score three or four times in your career, and even then you have to get it right.

“As a defender, you might only get one or two chances a season like that, so it’s even harder for you to score that goal.

“It was an amazing goal and a nice memory forever, and I’ve never won a Goal of the Season before.

“After the game I remember thinking that for sure I would win Goal of the Month in the Championship, but then there was the Ipswich goal that beat me!

“I think we scored some really nice goals this season, and it was a hard list for the fans to pick from.

“Yaser’s goal at Norwich was amazing and there were a few others that would probably win the award in any other season.

“I must thank the fans, both for voting for that goal but also for voting me as their Player of the Season.”

When you sit down this summer, how will you reflect on this season?

“It’s a season where I have learned a lot of things personally, as a player and also as being a captain for the first time which has helped calm me down as a player and a person in general.

“But also I have to reflect that we have not been fighting for the things that are my personal ambitions.

“For me it has been a very disappointing season because we haven’t been fighting for the goals we wanted, and we need to be very harsh and honest with each other and to ourselves.

“It just wasn’t good enough.

“Things need to change and things need to go in another way. I want to be fighting and playing for nice things, and not to be trying not avoid relegation.

“I don’t want to be playing for 15th in the league table.”