Dean Gerken is showing just why I stuck with him, says McCarthy
- Credit: Archant
Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy hopes supporters now see why he kept the faith with goalkeeper Dean Gerken.
The 28-year-old produced a man-of-the-match display in Saturday’s hard-fought goalless draw at Nottingham Forest, that performance coming hot on the heels of an impressive afternoon’s work in the 2-1 home win over Huddersfield.
Town have lost just three of their 16 league games with Gerken between the sticks, having lost four of their opening five games of the campaign with Scott Loach in goal.
Some fans had questioned whether the latter, a boyhood Blues fan, should have been recalled after Gerken’s high-profile mistake led to Wigan sealing a 2-0 win at the DW Stadium back in September, considering Loach himself had been dropped on more than one occasion following similar incidents.
McCarthy says that thought had never crossed his mind though when it came to his summer signing from Bristol City.
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“He’s deserved my faith,” said the Blues boss. “I also believe I gave that to Loachy when it was the right time to do it.
“He might have been slightly unlucky to drop out the side, but we’d just lost four out of five. And Gerks has been excellent since he came in.
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“He had that mistake at Wigan and everyone was saying ‘are you going to leave him out?’- not a chance because he’s played well.
“There’s a real difference with goalkeepers. You might make a mistake and the ball ends up in the back of your net, but if you’re doing everything else well – kicking, coming for crosses, all that – then you have to look beyond that one mistake. You can’t be dropping someone on that one mistake.”
Gerken may have made just 14 league appearances for Bristol City during his last three seasons at the club, but prior to that he had played a key role in helping both the Robins, and previous club Colchester United, to surprise 10th-place finishes in the Championship.
“Gerks has been great,” said McCarthy. “He came on trial with us in pre-season, I liked him, he got in the team and has held his place. I think he’s been outstanding.
“It was a point-winning performance from a goalkeeper at the weekend. Our goalkeeper was our star man.”