Any one of us could get the axe, admits Freddie Sears
There will be a few nervous players gathering around the team sheet when it is pinned up at Playford Road later today.
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy’s loyalty towards certain players may well have been pushed to the limited following a run of just one win in six league outings, the Blues slipping from second to 12th in the Championship table ahead of tomorrow’s visit of 18th-place Huddersfield Town to Portman Road (3pm).
With the likes of Luke Chambers, Christophe Berra, Tommy Smith, Cole Skuse and Daryl Murphy all virtual ever-presents during the McCarthy regime, striker Freddie Sears said: “I wouldn’t say there are any favourites in the team. He’s probably been a bit fairer with some of the boys who have done well for him though.
“No-one’s place is guaranteed. The gaffer has come out publicly and said no-one is nailed on. We all know we need to perform in order to keep hold of the shirt.
“If you’re winning no-one looks at the team, if you’re not then maybe there needs to be some changes. Sometimes there is bad form and people need to come out the team. It’s then up to the people coming in to make the difference.”
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Following frustrating back-to-back home draws against Birmingham and Bristol City, Town produced a dire first-half display in their 2-0 defeat at Blackburn prior to last weekend’s international break. It was the third time this season they conceded twice inside the opening 16 minutes of a match and the fifth time that one opposition goal has been quickly followed by another.
The scintillating start to the season, which consisted of an opening day draw and then five straight wins in all competitions, suddenly seems a lifetime ago.
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Asked if any complacency had crept into the players’ thinking, Sears said: “I’m not sure. Obviously at the start of the season we were second in the league and everyone was buzzing. Maybe we might have taken our eyes off it a little bit, but the boys are still working hard day-in, day-out to get to where we want to be.”
The front man, who has four goals and three assists to his name, added “I think teams are raising their game against us after what we did last season and it’s up to us to match them.
“We’ve got a lot of pressure on us every game. No disrespect to Huddersfield, but we’re expected to beat them at home. The fans turn up to see us win these sort of games comfortably. Hopefully we can do that and give them something to smile about again.”