Delaney: Hard Work Paying Off
Saturday, 25th Feb 2012 09:18
Damien Delaney has confirmed that Town’s much-improved recent defensive displays can be attributed to the amount of hard work that has been done on the training ground.
Fit-again Delaney, now back in the side alongside Tommy Smith, has played his part in keeping successive clean sheets – but no one needs to remind him that Ipswich’s record of 57 goals conceded remains the worst in the Championship.
Delaney, 30, said: “We have done a hell of a lot of work on defending as a team and I can’t deny it was necessary, especially when we had shipped so many goals. We’ve all played in teams that have conceded, say, 40 to 45 goals in a season but in our case it was the end of January and that was crazy.
“Things have improved and hopefully it will continue. In our last two games, at Portsmouth and at home to Cardiff, we looked pretty solid. We’re not going to stop everything but even against Cardiff – the way they started I thought it was going to be a very long afternoon – we were comfortable.
“Going back to last season there were times when I was thinking early on ‘We’re going to get murdered here’. At one stage in the game against Norwich I was counting how many players we had on the pitch and that’s not a lie. I was wondering ‘Have two lads gone in or something?’
“There’s a huge difference now. We’ve worked hard in training and we’ve had loads of meetings in which players have had their say about what they thought should be happening. The manager took it all on board.”
The real key to Town’s improvement, Delaney feels, is that they are defending better as a team, with players other than those in the back four taking more responsibility.
He added: “Just as it’s not always the defence’s fault that the team can’t keep a clean sheet, it’s not always the forwards’ fault that we are not scoring enough goals.
“Football is the ultimate team game and the buck doesn’t stop with any one player. If people like Jay Emmanuel-Thomas can run an extra 15 yards and stop a cross coming into the box it stands to reason that we are not going to concede as many goals.
“If JET and others can stop half the crosses, obviously it means there’s a 50 per cent less chance of us conceding goals from crosses. It’s the same up front – midfield men need to make the runs and take defenders away to leave room for Michael Chopra.
“It has all been coming together nicely and no heads have been dropping. Even when players have found they are not getting regular games their attitude has been great. They have left their disappointment behind and been very supportive of the lads in the side.”
Photos: Action Images
Get two free £10 bets by opening a new account at William Hill. Place an initial bet of a minimum of £10 and William Hill will give you two £10 bets. You must enter the promotional code "F20" when signing up as a new customer.
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Blogs 190 bloggers
Goals From Midfield by rickw
Looking back on this season and most of us would admit Ipswich reached or exceeded our expectations, but after coming so close to success we are now all hungry for more - and for Ipswich to take that next step and challenge for automatic promotion.
Looking Ahead: 2015/16 Season - Where Do We Need to Strengthen? by GeorgeITFC24
We as a club have some quality players in some crucial positions on the pitch. Most notably our strikers and centre-backs are probably the best in the league.
Don't Look Back in Anger by everhopeful
After the heartache comes the reflection. For a second, we had a glimpse of the Premier League. Just a glimpse – and it was as beautiful as we remembered. It reignited that spark of hope in all our hearts, the dream that, one day, we might find a better place to play. But for now, Sally can wait.
It's Not All Doom and Gloom by Arch98
As I write, I can’t help but feel utter dejection - and I’m sure every person reading this will be in the same situation.
Where Did it Go Wrong? Play-Off Semi-Finals by GeorgeITFC24
We all will be forced to remember the excruciatingly disappointing end to the 2014/15 season. 4-2 on aggregate we lost to that lot up the road. We pretty much nailed it at home with the 1-1 draw. We kept them at bay and matched them in every area. But away at Carrow Road it all just fell apart. But why exactly?
Ipswich Town Polls
[ Vote here ]
TWTD.co.uk Story Archive