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Ward: Difficult to Play in Atmosphere
Monday, 3rd Apr 2017 06:00

Goalscorer Grant Ward admitted it was difficult to play in the fractious Portman Road atmosphere during Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Birmingham but says he and his team-mates have to block it out as they look for the points to secure the Blues’ Championship status.

The visitors' 48th-minute opener scored by Jonathan Grounds triggered boos and chants aimed at manager Mick McCarthy, owner Marcus Evans and MD Ian Milne from an angry and frustrated home support.

“It is difficult to play in an atmosphere like that,” Ward admitted. “But we have to block it out and play your own game. When we are away we get abuse so you just have to deal with it.

“You don’t expect it at home but we all know Ipswich Town is a big club and the fans want the best for the club.

“They may not always express it in the best way but the players just have to take it on the chin and accept it.”

Regarding his 72nd minute goal, his sixth of the season, Ward confirmed that there had been more than a touch of good fortune about it.

“I didn’t mean it,“ the 22-year-old said. “I was just being positive and trying to make something happen. I have been told to try and whip the ball in with some pace and luckily it went in.”

He added: “It has been a while since I scored. I have been getting in the right places and getting close so it was a case of sticking at it.

“I might try a few more like that and try and get another five or six by the end of the season.”

Town, who have now gone eight games without a win but have lost just once in 10, remain 17th, now six points from the bottom three on 46 with seven games left to play. Second-bottom Wigan visit Portman Road tomorrow night.

Ward, who joined the Blues from Spurs in the summer, is determined that Town shouldn’t still be needing points to secure their survival in the final few games of the season.

“We have to stay focused and pick up enough points to be safe,” he continued. “This might already be enough but we can’t wait until the end of the season. We have to keep picking up points now.

“That’s another season why the Wigan game on Tuesday is so huge. It is a six-pointer for them and we know it is going to be a scrap.”

Birmingham defender Krystian Bielik felt his side ought to have picked up all three points: “We deserved to win because we defended properly. We were solid and scored a really nice goal on the counter-attack.

“We had everything in hand and were much better than Ipswich but they scored a lucky goal.

“We lost to an unbelievable goal because everyone knows he didn’t mean to shoot, he was trying to cross.”

Meanwhile, Town’s U23s are in action against Sheffield Wednesday’s youngsters - who are coached by former Blue Neil Thompson - at Playford Road this afternoon (KO 1pm).

Photo: TWTD

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DurhamTownFan added 06:15 - Apr 3
I do kind of feel a bit sorry for him and others. They've done ok, but they're hampered by the manager. I would like to think the players recognise MM's role in making that bad atmosphere though!

battyblue added 06:18 - Apr 3
Not the fans to blame Grant,,,,Blame the man who has brought on this atmosphere with his boring clueless tactics game after game with the same outcome, and his attitude to the supporters can't wait for him to p!ss off.

TractorWood added 06:24 - Apr 3
Birmingham are widely known as the Blues. Obviously talking about Town, as I know Neil Thompson played for us but it would be extremely confusing if you were looking at this for research or were outside the Ipswich bubble.

LimitlessBlue added 06:42 - Apr 3
difficult to watch such shlt football Grant!

ClausThomsen added 06:56 - Apr 3
When McCarthy finally does one, the atmosphere will immediately become more positive.

I know we're a club who have always been lenient with managers but this is getting utterly ridiculous.

Penguinblue added 07:02 - Apr 3
Usual crass attempt at PR by Ipswich to bring out the goal scorer to comment.

Yes the fans want what is best for the club and it is not McCarthy - your football is sh~t. Is he still here? Incredible.

McCarthy your football is sh~t - OUT Milne totally hopeless.

AYACCA added 07:26 - Apr 3
Its time to kick back and relax with some Green Day.

TractorCam added 07:28 - Apr 3
The way I first read this is that he's basically blaming the fans, I hope this isn't the case

WeWereZombies added 07:43 - Apr 3
“I might try a few more like that and try and get another five or six by the end of the season.”

At least we have a player who can deliver a tongue in cheek comment well even if we have no one on the comments section who can do it. I don't think he is blaming the fans, TractorCam, he is just answering a direct question with a direct answer. I wouldn't believe him if he he said he loved playing to a chorus of boos. Vicious circle, innit?

evansblue added 07:44 - Apr 3
It shouldn't be to too hard for fans to back the team for 90 minutes and save the abuse until the end of the game. The North stand were quiet until the Birmingham goal.
If you are so unhappy about the state of the club then have a sit in protest at the end of the game. Negative chants during the game are just pathetic in my opinion and help no one.

woohoo added 07:46 - Apr 3
I have some sympathy with the players - but I think that the crowd made it clear who they are blaming.


Mark added 07:46 - Apr 3
Don't take it personally Grant, as we all want the same thing - a successful ITFC side. You as a player could be far more successful if the owner invested in quality midfielders around you rather than just Douglas and Skuse, and if he had have reinvested the Murphy money in a new striker to score goals and take us up the table. I am sure you would appreciate if the manager started with a more attacking line up too so you had some players supporting you in your attacks rather than just passing it backwards.

martin587 added 07:48 - Apr 3
When we the supporters pay a large amount of money to watch dire football week in week out then it's understandable for us to voice our opinion.But let's be honest the hostility is not towards the players but to the manager for employing dire tactics and boring football.Sorry Grant,but I think your way off the mark there.
But then again do you not think some of the players are not giving 100%.

thundercat600 added 07:56 - Apr 3
Hang on a bit sunshine, you and your mates bring this upon yourselves by playing crap football. Why is it that "walking the ball into the net" seems to be acceptable, instead of having a go your lot seem to be content moving the ball sideways or backwards. When was a goal actually scored from a shot out side of the box. I rest my case.

cat added 08:01 - Apr 3
Personally I did not think it was that bad. Obviously when there goal went in it changed, but that's understandable.
Sack the Dino and the good atmosphere and the supporters will return. Simply as....

therein61 added 08:09 - Apr 3
Must be more difficult for a footballer wanting to express himself when the side is set up in such a negative formation(game after game!!!!)

Karlosfandangal added 08:14 - Apr 3
Wigan, Burton, Rotherham are the only place I can see us picking up points, three wins and 9 points will give us 55 and should be safe,
If we don't win then we need two teams below us to drop points.

Looks like we need teams to slip up then

Did I really say win .........

algarvefan added 08:21 - Apr 3
Whilst I am in no way a great fan of MM there is a point here. What is the point of going to a game, and most of town's games are close scores, and getting on their backs when they go a goal down. How about we try to lift them instead of boo' s. We are in a relegation battle, if you must show your displeasure wait until the final whistle. YOU ARE NOT HELPING!!!!!!

The clue is in the word supporters!

blue75 added 08:25 - Apr 3
Be interesting if all these players will back McCarthy's style of play once he's gone.

Smithy added 08:34 - Apr 3
That's the problem we don't "play" just hoof and defend

Keaneish added 08:39 - Apr 3
More to the point, we should maybe assess the first half performance than the Birmingham opener. The game was dour and the atmosphere non-existent. Last 15 minutes of the first half people were on their phones or going to get a drink. Worst i've ever known it at PR. Not the worst performance but certainly the least interested crowd i've ever experienced.

poldark added 08:44 - Apr 3
im afraid to say if you back the team during the match arrogant people such asMilne,Evans and the Dino McCarthy take it you support his methods of running and managing a football club the only way to get your feelings across are during the match.
I feel some sympathy for the players but they have to expect the reaction from the terraces I also think it's sad players come out and make comments like this undoubtedly sent by the management

vanmunt added 08:54 - Apr 3
When Mick Mugabe picked the midfield dream team pairing he knew exactly what reaction to expect. I do feel sorry for Different Class Dougie, his legs have gone to play box to box like he used to and Mugabe expects him to play in a role that doesn't suit him. Not one youth player in the whole squad, again what sort of atmosphere did you expect... do you think we should get out the bunting and hold street parades and worship at the feet of all things Myopic Mick. get real.

wherescounago added 08:55 - Apr 3
Probably like a lot of people on this site I watched Arsenal and Man City yesterday afternoon. The difference is style, quality and standard of play to what is served up at PR is unbelievable. Now before people started giving me stick about what I've just said, let's think back to the season before last when we were in the Play Offs and hoping, if not expecting to be in that exalted company three months later. Now that's how far our once great and proud club have declined in that short time. I do agree with Algarveblue to a certain extent lets get behind the team in the next few games, but for the sake of everyone once we are safe let's sort this horrendous mess out!!!!!!!

MicksZzzTactics added 08:59 - Apr 3
I hear you Mr. Grant, but ehmmm sorry to be the harbinger of 'Bad News', but as a professional footballer (or paid professional athlete of any kind really!) you simply first and foremost have to LOOK YOURSELF IN THE MIRROR! .... not the least before considering having any sort of go at those who in principal finance/make possible your pay cheque = The Fans! .... and too often too many of your 'proper blokes' (yourself included!) haven't performed remotely acceptable during this overwhelmingly depressing, bored-to-Zzzleep & win-deprived season!!! Period!

And while I very seldom agree with anything the often repulsive 'Living In Denial', 'Blinkers-wearing', Blind-faithed and above all Chronically Complacent Pro-MM'ers preach -- here and elsewhere -- I do however concur with at least one of their recurring and standard defense-lawyer like oneliners: "It's not ALL down to the manager!"

No it most certainly isn't! And while practical all the truly objective among our fans can easily see & understand that the dreaded DIno McCarthy, with ALL his managerial flaws, is very susceptible to utterly "destroy" both the original skill-set, confidence, and overall winning mentality of just about any player pulling on the ITFC shirt !... and "destroying that in pretty much record-like time! ... IMHO and despite week in and week out being heavily INDOCTRINATED by MM and his prehistoric sidekick TC that "you MUST put in a grinding "proper shift" (otherwise unless you are one of "The Undroppables" you are then pretty likely to not get many minutes with the Dino at the helm!) too many of you players have too often this season still appeared like either "You simply couldn't really be sufficiently BOTHERED", especially about taking responsibility & command on the filed! .... and/or about fairly early into the game, especially if we have fallen behind, you have a symptomatic look on you by then LOW KEPT head that nothing really concerns you more -- besides A) picking up your pay cheque and B) How awesome do my tattoos look when I fist-pump??? -- than hearing the final whistle, and the sooner the better!

Now I don't know (other from what I've head strictly 2nd hand) whether all or some of the above about you players on-field behavior was also the case against Brom on Saturday,... but sadly it certainly has been in fairly many of the games I have the (dis)pleasure of watching this season! , so while I do really get and even partly sympathize with what you are saying in this article Mr. Grant, again please please both as an individual as well as a' Collective' : Look yourself IN THE MIRROR too! Thank You!

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