Connor Wants Home Improvement Saturday, 2nd Feb 2013 06:01
Assistant manager Terry Connor wants to see Town’s home form improve, the Blues having failed to win any of their last three games at Portman Road. A 1-1 draw with Bristol City just before Christmas was followed by a New Year's Day 3-0 loss to Brighton and another 1-1 draw with Barnsley.
Connor says good home form should be central to Town’s push away from the danger zone: “You would like it to be. Everybody wants their team to win games at home and to make it into a fortress, and that’s what we’re trying to do.
“But the most important thing is that we gather points along the way. Everyone wants their team to play well at home and to win two or three so everybody’s hunky dory with it.
“But we recognise that teams come and put their barriers up and we have to try to break them down and sometimes it’s difficult to do that.”
Overall, he’s pleased with progress since he and McCarthy took over at Town three months ago: “I think Mick and I came to work here on November 1st and we were four points adrift [at the bottom]. I think you’ll find that we’re now four points better off than [the team in 22nd].
“All we’ve tried to do is keep our heads down, keep working hard, get the boys to work hard and try to win enough games so that by May 4th we maintain our Championship status.
“In January, we’ve had a chance to maybe add one or two, which we tried to do and we have done and now we just push on with 17 games left and make sure we’re talking about Ipswich as a Championship team going forward in May.”
He added: “I think you could say we’ve done well, we’ve turned things around a little bit. We were four points adrift and now we’re four points better off. If we can maintain that status quo to the end of the season, we’d have done a decent job, I think.”
Manager McCarthy made his annoyance at last week's 2-1 defeat at Bristol City all too clear and his assistant says he and the squad have worked on ensuring there's no repeat: “The only way to get the gaffer to be as angry as that is to be 1-0 up, lose a goal just after half-time, then lose a goal in the last minute.
“We’ll try tomorrow to make sure that doesn’t happen and put a smile on his face. That having had the week that he’s had, he can finish it off with a bit of a smile and a positive outlook.
“Our general performance [at Bristol City] was very, very good, but we made two errors, and were highly punished for them.”
Connor says he’s enjoying life in Suffolk, despite having been established in the Midlands during a long spell with Wolves: “It’s a bit of a change. I spent 13 years at Wolves and I spent 10 years in and around the Bristol area before that, so I’ve been really settled in certain areas.
“This is a time where I’ve had to leave my family and go and work away. But over the years coming down here and playing Ipswich and Norwich, coming to this part of the world I’ve always been well-received, people have always been very courteous.
“Although the rivalry’s there and they want to beat your team, there’s always been a good balance about their banter and how they speak to you.
“The staff in hotels, they speak to you well, everything in this part of the world’s always been great and I’ve found that no different in the two or three months that I’ve been down here working.”