Can Grant Ward be Ipswich Town derby day hero in Tom Lawrence’s absence?

Grant Ward applauds the Ipswich fans

Grant Ward applauds the Ipswich fans - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Tom Lawrence picked up his 10th booking of the season in the Blues’ 1-1 draw at Brighton on Tuesday, and will miss Saturday’s home game against play-off chasing Leeds but, more significantly for Town fans, the East Anglian derby at Norwich, a week on Sunday.

Tom Lawrence picked up his 10th booking of the season in the Blues’ 1-1 draw at Brighton on Tuesday, and will miss Saturday’s home game against play-off chasing Leeds but, more significantly for Town fans, the East Anglian derby at Norwich, a week on Sunday.

It’s a bitter pill to swallow, the Welsh international having been the Blues’ saviour so often in recent weeks, but his absence opens the door for a new hero.

Step forward Grant Ward.

The talented 22-year-old burst on to the scene with a 45-minute debut hat-trick for Town, in the opening day 4-2 home win over Barnsley.


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However, the forward has scored only twice since his dream debut, and has yet to score away from home – Carrow Road would be a good place to break that duck!

“It’s been a little while now since I scored and I haven’t had too many shots in recent games. I’m looking to add a few goals between now and the end of the season,” said Ward.

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“The gaffer wants me to get in the box whenever I can and obviously that’s where most goals are scored. I definitely want to add to the goals I’ve already scored.”

Ward has been playing in a three-man midfield, behind Lawrence and alongside Emyr Huws and Toumani Diagouraga – the latter who is ineligible for Saturday’s game – but has spent more time than he would have liked on the bench this season.

The same could be said of Brett Pitman and Freddie Sears, two other players that will keen to make a name for themselves and potentially become derby heroes.

“You have to continue to give it your all in training and believe that you will get your chance,” added Ward.

“When you eventually do, that’s when you need to make an impact. If I can get on the ball I can get up and down, driving at opponents, and hopefully get a few more goals.”

Manager Mick McCarthy has been happy with Ward’s recent impact, and said:“He’s pretty comfortable wide right. Which is his best position I’m not quite sure, but he’s been excellent in the centre of the pitch.”

On his squad players, the Blues boss added: “I’m hoping that they’ll play well, I never want squad members to not go in and play well, that’s what they’re there for.”.

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