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Delaney: Hard Work Paying Off
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

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Tractorog added 09:43 - Feb 25
Smells like team spirit!
And if you don't get that reference... ah well... Never Mind!
Let's just hope they continue to entertain us.
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Bowls1e added 09:44 - Feb 25
I remember thinking that there were twice as many Norwich players as Ipswich ones as well that night.. Although that may have been down to the amount of beers shoved down my neck.
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davidsc1971 added 09:57 - Feb 25
I've long since advocated that our defensive issues were caused by our geriatric midfield not tracking back correctly or providing enough cover for the centre backs. It could never be just the fault of those at the back if the ball kept coming at them time after time.

It's no surprise to me therefore that our resurgent form, defensive solidity and current confidence has come due to personnel changes in midfield. This is a great lesson that throwing more money at the defence is not the answer, it's having a great mix of youth and experience, and especially hunger, in midfield as the lifeblood of this Town team - with a potent front line and a not so flooded back line. As a team they move forward together and defend together.

Now let's go for 5 in a row. We've proved we can beat anyone in this division so let's continue the new habit. COYB!!
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Duncan added 09:59 - Feb 25
Ha.ha although the norwich game was a devastating result that was the funniest game I have ever been two. 2 guys behind us in the north stand were so smashed one fell on me n me dad half way through the second half n the other didn't say anything else but imb£ed c"nts for 45 minutes! Funniest thing though was at the end of the game when one guy tried to kick the chair in frustration missed n ended up in a heep on the steps next to me
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DutchTownFan added 10:53 - Feb 25
That guy must have been watching our players too much then.
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bluepeter added 11:47 - Feb 25
I sat next to that guy, He looked like me, spoke like me and had the same name as me, I was beside myself!
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bluepeter added 11:54 - Feb 25
I sat next to that guy'is wife in the second half and she told me that she met him in the tunnel of love. Looking at her I think she must have been digging it!
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arc added 14:07 - Feb 25
I'm sorry: I thought we all agreed never to mention That Match ever again.
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Ipswichbusiness added 21:12 - Feb 26
It's now 60
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