Connor Praise for Strike Pair
Monday, 4th Feb 2013 06:00
Blues assistant boss Terry Connor was full of praise for strike pairing David McGoldrick and Aaron Mclean after Saturday’s 4-0 drubbing of Middlesbrough at Portman Road. Both frontmen opened their Town goals account during the second half.
Connor, who was in charge for the day with manager Mick McCarthy unwell, said: “Everyone knows I was a member of the strikers’ union and everybody knows that you need to score your goals early on in your career when you join a new club, and it’s nice for David and for Aaron to score their first goals.
“They can play well [and it can get lost]. Last week, David played equally as well and it was lost in the result. This week, he’s played just as well and scored a goal and everyone talks about the performance that David gives.
“It’s nice for him to get the goal and get the rewards and I think the team know they’ve got a player they can rely on to hold the ball up and to do the all-round play, but also to get amongst the goals as well.”
Regarding Mclean, the one-time Leeds, Brighton and Bristol City frontman added: “Aaron has worked really well in the last two weeks in particular.
“He’s worked hard to regain his match fitness because that’s what he’s lacking at the minute, but for 60 or 65 minutes he ran his heart out and he thoroughly deserved his goal.”
Town have confirmed that Mclean will be here until the end of the season as planned despite Steve Bruce having said he was considering recalling him last week. There is no provision in the agreement between the clubs for such a recall.
Saturday's result moved the Blues up to 19th but still only four points away from the relegation places. Connor fully expects the dogfight to last the rest of the season: “Absolutely [it’ll go down to the wire]. You can’t take your eye off the ball for one week.
“In this league, top can beat bottom, bottom can beat top on any given day, any given surface. You’ll always have a game on your hands.
“All we’ve asked our lads to try and do is focus on working hard, sticking together and in every game giving a good account of themselves
“If they can do that for the next 16 games, then we think we’re capable of picking up enough points to make sure we’re in the Championship next season.”
Meanwhile, former Blues skipper and coach Tony Mowbray was happy enough with his one-time Town team-mate Kieron Dyer’s performance on his Boro debut, despite the disappointing result: “He did what he’s here to do, he kept the ball for us very well, I don’t know what his statistics were today.
“We couldn’t get the ball to him in the first half, to be fair, but that’s a credit to Ipswich, the way they pressed us and closed down all over the pitch.
“I think in the second half his ball retention [was very good]. That’s what he’s here for really, to make the right decisions, to educate some of our younger players that sometimes you don’t always have to hit a 30 or 40-yard pinpoint pass, you just keep it moving.
“And Kieron does that by nature and I’m sure that will help us as we progress forward. But it’s obviously not ideal for him to come back to Portman Road and lose so heavily on his debut."
Dyer admitted that it was a disappointing return to Suffolk: “Ipswich took us by surprise. Although they have plenty of good players, for us to lose 4-0 was especially hard.
“This is the worst place for me to get a hammering like that because this is still my home town and my mum still lives here so it was pretty humiliating.
“In fairness, the Ipswich crowd has been so special for me down the years, but you can imagine the grief I will get.”
Mowbray says his side's overall performance was one that they will have to put behind them and that they are better than they showed on Saturday: “We’ve got a good team. You never saw that, but we’ve got a good team and we’ll be fine.”
The man known as Mogga said Boro haven’t had a particular problem conceding from set pieces, Tommy Smith having netted twice from corners, and that he would look into how those goals came about on the coach on the way back to Teesside.
However, he had praise for Smith: “You have to give the boy some credit, he looks a big, powerful boy coming in and attacking those balls.”
Mowbray, a former central defender himself, was reminded that he scored one or two similar goals during his Town career and he recalled one in particular that he has displayed on his wall at home: “Remember the one at Wembley in 2000? Let’s talk about that, eh?
“Jim Magilton took a corner, it got cleared out to him, he put it back in and I rose like a salmon at the back stick!”
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