Gerken: Top Two? Never Say Never
Friday, 15th Jan 2016 09:30
Goalkeeper Dean Gerken is not predicting Town will win automatic promotion this season – but nor does he share the view of manager Mick McCarthy, who recently suggested his team would not finish in the top two places.
Despite starting the season as second choice behind Bartosz Bialkowski, Gerken has completed a run of 24 league games and believes the significant recent improvement in Town’s home form is reason enough not to dismiss the possibility of bypassing the play-off zone en route to the Premier League.
As things stand fifth-placed Town are six points adrift of second-placed Hull, who have leapt ahead of Derby into the top two after the Rams collected just two points from their last three league games.
Gerken said: “The top two? You can never say never, I suppose. It’s a cliché and everyone says it but at the end of the season you just see where you are and take it from there.
“You can’t look at your fixture list and say ‘Three points here, three points there’ because we all know about the Championship and how any team can beat any other on their day.
“But we know that if we can keep doing what we’re doing at the moment we’ll have a chance of doing something good this year.
“I hope we have turned the corner at home. Teams come to Portman Road and probably lift their game against us by five or 10 per cent.
“It’s been a lot harder this season than it has been in previous years. There was more of a shock factor about us last year but everyone knows what we’re about these days.
“Teams set their stall out a little bit differently when they come to our place, looking to nick a point or get a 1-0 win and sit back. We’ve had to go about our game a little bit more – be a bit more patient in the way we approach games and stuff like that.
“With teams sitting back we haven’t been able to set such a high tempo and show the forcefulness we’ve had in previous years.
“When the opposition have 11 men behind the ball you have to come up with different ways of breaking them down and I think it’s been coming together a lot more in our last three home performances.
“Even when we lost to both Middlesbrough and Derby, who are top teams, I think our performances were good and the result could have gone either way.
“We’re more confident at home now than we have been for some time, trusting the way we can break teams down in a new sort of way.
“It’s tough to say if the best is yet to come. I just know we’ve got a group of lads who are all mates and all doing well for each other. We’re playing good football at the moment and long may it continue.
“We’re enjoying what we are doing at the moment and although the games come round thick and fast we can’t wait for each one of them.”
Photo: Action Images
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