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Ashton: Character is Key
Thursday, 5th Aug 2021 10:15

Blues CEO Mark Ashton has stressed the importance of the character of the players the club has brought in this summer, believing that Town have done good business up to now.

The Blues have made 10 signings with manager Paul Cook having said earlier in the week that up to six more could be on their way in before the transfer window closes at the end of the month.

“We’ve done good business, I think. We’ve brought in good players and really good characters,” Ashton said in a lengthy interview with iFollow Ipswich.

“And character is key to what we’re trying to build. Be under no illusion, we’ve got to bring in good football players that fit what Paul needs on the pitch but we have to bring in god characters who fit what we want to build off the pitch.

“One thing I’ve done with all of the players is sat them down and talked to them about culture, what it means to play for Ipswich Town, what you represent when you play for Ipswich Town.”

He says part of that culture relates to the police and fire services’ pension fund, Arizona’s Public Safety Personnel Retirement System (PSPRS), which holds a 90 per cent stake in Gamechanger 20 Ltd, the company which now owns 87.5 per cent of the club, and is providing the money behind the Portman Road revolution.

“I’ve started to talk a little bit our vision, our mission and our values, and have used the terminology ‘running towards adversity’. That is something that is going to be key,” he added.

“It’s something that I believe represents the funding of this football club, it represents what we’re about and what we’re trying to do, and I’ve explained that to all of the players that have come in.

“And on Friday of this week [last Friday] I will sit down with the players and talk through that values and behaviours piece as a collective because it’s really important.

“Engagement in our community is not just going to be words, it will happen and it will grow.

“Our behaviours on the pitch and the discipline that we show on the pitch will be expected, performances will lead to results.

“We have to have a set of values that underpin that and one of those will be that everyone within this football club will run towards adversity.”

Looking at the transfers to come, Ashton says he’s not a fan of leaving things late: “I don’t like doing ‘’, I like to be set fairly early so we know where we’re going and I think we are on that trajectory. We’re getting ourselves set, [we’ve got 10] in.

“The other thing I would say to the fans is this, we all want to get out of the blocks quickly, we all want to win every game. Trust me, I’m exactly the same, but 10 players in are going to take a little time to gel.

“They’re going to take time to get to to know each other. It’s a 40-plus games season, a lot more with the cups, it’s going to see the depths of the squad to see us through a successful season.

“And seasons are built, seasons are not won in August. Championships are not won in August.

“We have to be realistic about this, we want to compete right at the top end of this division and be ultra-successful but we’ve got to build it. Come August 7th, we start.”

Photo: Matchday Images

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BlueySwede added 10:24 - Aug 5
First of all, I think every Town fan are excited about the season ahead and thankful to Gamechanger and Ashton for revitalising our club. Now at least we have hope and a fresh start.
Personally I am a little bit disappointed that we have left key areas that need reinforcements a little bit late. I know it´s a complicated market, but just a couple of more ahead of Saturday would have been ideal.
Anyways, I am so excited about Satuday, just wishing I was able to go to the game, I would in an instant. But for now Ifollow will have to do.

Bluearmy_81 added 10:25 - Aug 5
The club is incomparable to the sorry state it was in pre April. I know we have to deliver, starting on Saturday but the club seems a completely different outfit now. Thank God we haven't got Evans

BlueandTruesince82 added 10:34 - Aug 5
I'd rather the club takes the time to bring in the right players. I'd like us to go full Fergie and hire PI to follow potential targets and make sure they are the right fit

SamWhiteUK added 10:35 - Aug 5
I know the "proper blokes" thing gets thrown around and joked about a lot, but our best years under McCarthy involved a squad that were signed based on the fact that they were good people and didn't upset the dressing room. Character is clearly very important so this is good to read.

Look at Derby for an example of how NOT to run the club

pennblue added 10:35 - Aug 5
The players could do with social media managers to help harness the positive effects of social media, and to help with the engagement (and to avoid unnecessary conflict online which can lead to distraction).

Would be good to hear more from Sports psychology on how the players are being helped to develop that winning mentality on the pitch.

d77sgw added 10:59 - Aug 5
When I think of many of the signings that Burley made, MickM, Lyall - even going back as far as Bobby - the consistent thread is character. Players like Geraint Williams, Jermaine Wright, Mogga, Daryl Murphy, Berra, Paul Mariner - they weren't the most skillful players, but they worked their socks off, would die for the team and you knew they held the dressing room together. Its not enough on its own - you could make a strong case for many of Lambert's team having that quality ironically - but its good to know that we're taking this aspect seriously.

BlueNomad added 11:15 - Aug 5
We have a leader.

blueears added 11:52 - Aug 5
I wish we had gotten an experienced centre back in. Clearly when we tried to sign Bradley at the the beginning of the window it was a priority. It still very much is and lm really surprised we still havent filled that gap. The young guy from Rangers cant be expected to be that experienced guy,and lm afraid Wolf and Toto dont fill me with much faith.

mib added 12:27 - Aug 5
d77 are you telling me Paul Mariner was not a skilful player? Think Again

slaughteredskipper added 12:31 - Aug 5
This was a great read and really good to see there is a vision in place that will shape decision making at the club. I think the ‘running towards adversity’ is a good one. We have all had a lot of adversity in the past 15 years and there will continue to be adversity ahead, but if we collectively run towards that including us as supporters then we are in for a hell of a ride! When things aren’t going quite as well as we would hope on match day let’s ‘run towards adversity’ and be the extra man to make the difference on the day - get behind the team rather than get on their backs, get their heads up and we really can be the difference. As a first time season ticket holder I am buzzing for Saturday and the dawn of a new era! COYB!!

norfolkbluey added 12:31 - Aug 5
'Blueears', Terry Butcher didn't seem strong enough when he first appeared and he made some terrible errors in his first few games but he grew into the part so give the guy from Rangers time. He has youth on his side but I have the feeling he will be a great addition eventually and with his stature a real presence at the back. Several supporters didn't think much of Mings at the beginning but look at him now. We have to have faith in PC in his choice of players and the scouts who report back to the club. I think it looks promising, so like many, cautious optimism is the current situation.

bluesheds added 12:37 - Aug 5
Sir Bobby Robson built a team that gave us more than most clubs can talk about, George Burley built a team over years that took us to the premiership. It takes time, you very rarely can buy it.The club stuck with him and he had the club at heart so wasn't going anywhere else. My worry is Paul Cook will jump ship as soon as it doesn't happen or gets a better offer.Maybe just maybe we should have gone with someone who wanted to build a legacy.time will tell. either way looking forward to first game. it could be a changer for us.

BeattiesBackPocket added 12:38 - Aug 5
Bluearmy81 the cr@p we got from some last season and season before about decline and how we weren’t proper fans because we wanted better and now everyone ex players even sheepshanks has reiterated what we said. First time in many years I’ve had optimism about the club and can’t wait for Saturday and some away games this season. I’m not even expecting miracles or promotion this season just some progression will do but promotion would be a great added bonus

AlanG296 added 14:39 - Aug 5
All good stuff, perhaps Ashton can now turn his attention to the shambles with online ticket sales and get fans' refunds for duplicated payments dealt with immediately. Effectively it's like while going through a turnstile and handing over cash to get in someone else for the club dipped into your back pocket and helped themselves to the same amount.

Bluearmy_81 added 15:40 - Aug 5
I know BBP, unbelievable. To some being a good fan was accepting dross and us being a laughing stock. I wonder if any of those who criticised us thought that flaggelation was required or recommended too?!! 🤔😂😂

Karlosfandangal added 15:45 - Aug 5

Trevor Putney or jay Tabb maybe but not Paul Mariner.

For the younger fans watch Ipswich v Roma and just watch the speed Town move the ball about, also watch some of the tackles no rolling around the floor and the ref not dealing out cards for ever time there is a foul.

Would love to see play like that at Portman Road again.
Will we have a manager who we can compare to Sir Alf and Sir Bobby…… day maybe hope it’s in my life time.

Bert added 16:14 - Aug 5
Ashton’s words are a breath of fresh air and demonstrate a real understanding of leadership. When Sheepshanks got so many things right in the first years of his leadership role I tingled with admiration. We now have a Chairman of character and a CEO who knows why culture underpins what we do. I’m tingling again, not just in admiration but realistic expectation that a new progressive era is now beginning.

Eddie1985 added 17:29 - Aug 5
God what's he going on about running towards advercity!!?? Sounds like a load of wishy washy rubbish... Let's hope the Americans just let him deal with the money and stay out if it

d77sgw added 18:50 - Aug 5
My point about Mariner was not that he wasn’t skilful - but technique wise he wasn’t up there with some of his contemporaries- Muhren, Thijssen, Gates, Wark - even arguably Brazil. What he unquestionably was was a player who made the most of his attributes, developed as a player whilst he was here, put himself about and was the most effective striker I saw play for us (bizarrely I have a real soft-spot for Kevin Wilson…) I can’t comment on the mid-70s - and. I didn’t mention players like Putney or Tabb because, with all due respect to them, they were never a regular part of one of our better teams. Anyway, I wouldn’t let a throw away remark about the fact that Mariner showed great character detract from the main point - it’s good we’re back to signing players that will unite the dressing room, and care about the result.

istanblue added 17:47 - Aug 6
Ashton spot on yet again. Compare this to the chancers and bad influences brought in during the Evans era.

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