Actions not words says De Vos

INSTEAD of hiding behind excuses, the Ipswich players should respond with action not words against Preston tonight according to Blues' skipper Jason De Vos.

By Derek Davis

INSTEAD of hiding behind excuses, the Ipswich players should respond with action not words against Preston tonight according to Blues' skipper Jason De Vos.

The towering centre-half believes he should not need to issue a rallying cry before the home game and that two defeats in a row would sting the Town squad into a positive reaction.

De Vos said: “We are really hurting from Saturday's game and players will not need to be motivated.

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“If players can't get motivated after a game like West Brom, then they should not be in the game.

“We will come out and try to put things right.”

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Understandably, there were heated exchanges among players after the thrashing by the Baggies but De Vos is working at keeping the squad united.

He said: “It is a collective responsibility. You can't start pointing fingers at each other or blame the defence, or midfield or the forwards. When we have the ball we are all attackers, when we don't have the ball we are all defenders.

“But we didn't do either of those well enough on Saturday. Once they scored, there was only going to be one winner but they did not reinvent the wheel, they simply worked harder than us.

“That is something we can prevent and will against Preston.”

De Vos refused to entertain any excuses for Saturday's loss and insists players need to show greater desire.

He said: “You can look at it from every angle as to why we lost, as I'm sure the manager and staff have. The two-week break was too long? You question the preparation - whether you should have had more training or more days off - but ultimately, when you cross the white line, it is about your own motivation and your own pride.

“It is about how much you want it and clearly we didn't want it badly enough on Saturday.

“After losing against Colchester, it would have been better to have another game straight away but we can't make excuses - we simply didn't perform.

“We were up against a team that will be right up there at the end of the season, so it was a dangerous recipe. But we have to be switched on 100% every game, otherwise there is going to be a lot of days where we will struggle.”

It will be a tough ask tonight for Ipswich, as one of the leakiest defences in the Championship come up against a side that banged in four against Sunderland on Saturday.

The amount of goals conceded this term is no new thing, with the Blues allowing 276 past them in 195 games over the past five seasons.

This year the 18 goals shipped is the fourth worst in the division, and David Nugent and Daniele Dichio love scoring against the Blues.

Dichio has scored for Sunderland, Derby and Millwall and has never been on a losing side in seven games against the Blues, winning six and scoring four goals.

Nugent scored twice in both games last season, with North End winning 4-0 at Portman Road and 3-1 at Deepdale.

De Vos said: “It is a tough game to come back from but, then again, there are a lot of tough games in this league. There are probably a dozen teams who fancy winning the title outright and Preston are one of those.

“They will fancy their chances after the two results from Saturday but I an assure you that all the players have the mentality that this will be a different Ipswich to the one that turned up on Saturday.

“Preston have good goalscorers in the team and they have very good midfielders. Paul McKenna is one who does a lot of work for them that probably doesn't always get noticed.”

Instead of looking at Preston's strengths, De Vos believes the Blues should concentrate on their own positives and draw belief from the wins over Sunderland, Coventry and Southampton last month, along with a draw at Birmingham.

He said: “We are capable of beating Preston because remember, only a few weeks ago we were winning games comfortably and looked a top-six side. All of a sudden, after two bad results, everything is supposedly falling apart.

“As players we don't think that, it is something for outsiders to say, but, as far as we are concerned, it was an aberration and we look to Tuesday night and go back to winning games.”

A glimmer of hope among the array of statistics is that when the Baggies beat Ipswich 4-1 in September 2003, Town went on to win seven from the next eight games and eventually finished in the play-off places.

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