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 on Ipswich Town v Nottingham Forest (or other matches) 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 185 bloggers
Cole Skuse, In the Middle of Our Pitch by everhopeful
The ball is shifted sideways. There’s space to go forwards, space to meet it, space to shoot. But just as people all around Portman Road begin to lift up in their seats, they realise with an upsetting sense of inevitability – it’s Cole Skuse.
Is It All Over? by paulthebluealien
Sorry, that title is meant to be completely tongue-in-cheek and a slight dig at those Ipswich fans who have suddenly become disillusioned with our promotion push over the course of a single game.
A Day to Define History by RaymondovicBlue
As we celebrate the day Christians say defined history - our beloved Town take on high flying Bournemouth in the game that will surely define our season - and possibly theirs. They are high flying and I'll be looking to the Sky... as I sit in front of the TV in the home of many Bournemouth fans to shout for my team!
Crunch Time - Next Two Games Likely to Decide our Fate by Pickersblue22
This is undoubtedly the most exciting time to be an Ipswich Town supporter in a decade. For the first time since the days of Joe Royle, we have a chance of promotion, possibly automatic. Being sat in sixth place with seven games left, the task is in our own hands.
Promotion Push by akjlitfc
As we reach the final eight games of the season, the slump in form that we hoped would be brief has become persistent, warranting questioning from fans and pundits alike.
Ipswich Town Polls
[ Vote here ]
TWTD.co.uk Story Archive