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
Please report offensive, libellous or inappropriate posts by using the links provided.
You need to login in order to post your comments
Blogs 222 bloggers
Shall We Sing a Song For You?! by Slambo
I am writing this blog to try and gauge interest in starting a dedicated and organised ultra group.
I’m a season ticket holder in the North lower and try to start/get involved in singing at matches as much as possible.
Has Mick Found a Formula? by Pickersblue22
On November 22nd, Exeter City were bottom of League Two, bereft of confidence, ideas, and without a home win since April, all the signs were pointing to a season of struggle. A 1-0 win at Leyton Orient that night was the start of an marvellous 12-match unbeaten run, containing 10 wins. That run took them from below the dreaded dotted line to the fringes of the automatic promotion places, and was only ended by defeat in the Devon derby at Plymouth on Saturday.
The Question We're All Asking: Is Relegation a Serious Possibility? by Superfrans
With a pretty horrible run of five matches coming up, I know I’m not the only fan to have serious concerns about the possibility of relegation.
Another Post-Christmas Carol (Nightmare on Portman Street) by dusth
Christmas had passed and the sales, when all good folks looked for a fair bargain, were no longer in full swing. In fact they were over. Poor Mick McCratchitt was still at his desk at old Scrooge's Ticket and Footballing Agency, looking on his iPad at the bargains that might have been when young Tel his assistant brought him a bowl of warm water and a teabag. "This'll cheer you up boss!" "Thanks, old lad," said Mick and plunged his hands into the bowl. It instantly froze.
The Rebuild Conundrum and Inevitable Humdrum by BaltachaFanClub
Regular readers of my posts and occasional blogs will know a few things about me, firstly I am not a kneejerk reaction kind of poster, secondly I have progressed through all the stages of football fan and am now whatever is considered the final stage, where although I still love the game, I have seen it, done it and have gone all 'more important things'.
Ipswich Town Polls
[ Vote here ]