Bywater inspired by words

A ROCKET from the manager and a Churchillian speech from the chairman inspired Stephen Bywater to an even greater effort to win promotion.

Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

A ROCKET from the manager and a Churchillian speech from the chairman inspired Stephen Bywater to an even greater effort to win promotion.

The on-loan Town keeper was called into Jim Magilton's office the day after the defeat at Barnsley and told in no uncertain terms better was expected of him,

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Days later David Sheepshanks have one of his famed rallying calls to the players on the eve of a big game and since then both keeper and team's performances have improved.

Bywater said: “I don't feel I had a shocker against Barnsley. I might have organised my defence better for one goal and it was an own goal for the last but Jim had his say and I had mine.

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“We are all honest because we are all after the same goal and honesty is the best way.

“We had our words and now I'm getting on with my game and

“The gaffer is brutally honest, he says what he feels and for me that is the best way. That is the way to a manage people you know what you have been asked to do and can do it.

“I don't feel I have been playing any differently, I just haven't let as many goals in.

“I have been going about my business in the same way and we have won a couple, drawn and kept a clean sheet.

I'm happy, I'm pleased with my form and it is good time to be playing well because we can get into play-offs and steam-roll some teams.”

Since the Barnsley defeat Town have won twice and drawn once with two cleans sheets in those three matches.

Bywater explained how the players had been left in no uncertain terms what promotion means to the club by Sheepshanks.

He said: “The chairman came in and gave us a motivational speech. He was saying within the next couple of years we want to be in the Premier League, so why not this year.

“The lads listened to that and we went on to beat Charlton in the next game and we have kicked on since then.

“It meant a lot to the lads to hear what he had to say. He was relaying the point of view from people who work at the ground and how it would change their lives.

“Certainly the fan base is worthy of the Premier League.”

Town can take a step close to the play-off stage with a win at Colchester United today but even though the U's have not won in 10 games Bywater their tight layer Road ground will make it difficult, just as they found at Scunthorpe although they came through there with a 2-1 win.

Bywater said: “I like big derby games. The fans are passionate about this one so it will be a good atmosphere. With them fighting for their lives it will make it interesting.

“It was a tough game at Scunthorpe on a small enclosed pitch and the lads did well.

“The fans are a factor but funnily enough when you are playing at small grounds you don't hear the negativity you only hear your one fans.”

Although Town are expected to win, and want the three points, Bywater insists it is not do or die at Layer Road.

He said: “It is tight at the top and there are not many games left but we need to just get into the play-off places by hook or by crook.

“There are still 18 points to play for so it is not done and dusted if a team loses a game as it is still all to play for. We have seen how everyone can beat everyone else and we just need to concentrate on winning our games.

“We need to finish games off as we have been close to winning but not quite had the club so perhaps that will come at Layer Road.”

The 26-year-old keeper is signed until the end of the season on loan from Derby in a deal that will be made permanent if the club decide they want to keep him and Bywater is happy with that arrangement.

He said: “The chairman is said I'm here for the future and I'm just getting on with it and doing my best for Ipswich.”

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