Gareth is his own man - Jim
GARETH McAuley is his own man and should not be compared to former skipper Jason De Vos.That is the assertion of Blues boss Jim Magilton who has seen the central defender slowly emerge as a key figure in his new look Ipswich side.
By Derek Davis
GARETH McAuley is his own man and should not be compared to former skipper Jason De Vos.
That is the assertion of Blues boss Jim Magilton who has seen the central defender slowly emerge as a key figure in his new look Ipswich side.
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Bought for around £1.1m from Leicester City in the summer, McAuley had an indifferent start to his Ipswich Town career but has shown of late why Magilton pursued him so relentlessly.
He said: “Gareth is coming to terms with playing on the left hand side of central defence. He has played all his career on the right side and for Northern Ireland he has played right back.
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“I like him for his adaptability He is a good footballer but just needed to settle down and the more performances he puts in like the one on Tuesday, the more his confidence will grow.”
Magilton insist he was not bought as a direct replacement for de Vos and insists comparisons are unfair.
He said: “They are two different people. De Vos could play but his strengths were the physical side of the game and liked attacking the ball and was an old fashioned centre half.
“The modern day centre half has to be able to handle that and we want them to be able to battle. Gareth has also showed he is very comfortable coming out with ball. He is neat and tidy and is getting better all the time, as are others around him.
“He is getting a good shield from Shumi and Owen or Tommy when he plays and also Alan Quinn and David Norris.”
Magilton ahs also been pleased with the way McAuley is showing more of a commanding presence in defence, and starting to direct operations.
He said: “That is another sign that Gareth has settled in and is more comfortable and confident of his surroundings.”
With Alex Bruce waiting in the wings McAuley and Richard Naylor know there places are under threat with Iván Campo also able to play there, if he doesn't go to Charlton.
Campo has not played since a public bust up with Jon Walters during the game with Swansea but Magilton insists that is not the reason he ahs not been selected or why he might allow him to go out.
He said: “It is just a coincidence.”
A swap deal involving Darren Ambrose has also been mooted and Magilton would not rule it out.
He said: “Alan Pardew asked about Iván. He liked his performance against Charlton at their place and asked about him after Tuesday's game, which is normal practice.
“If it was offered to me I would consider it to get him games. If they want him they just have to ring me.
“Ambrose is in their team and I'm sure he will be in it again. I would not rule it out but he has not been offered to me.
“If Iván going benefitted the club then we would look at it but he has a massive influence on this club.
“He trains with the youngsters and they can not believe he is with them and he is an injury away from playing.”
With just one defeat in 10 league games, but six draws in among that, Magilton is looking for his side to start collecting all three points at home against a QPR side that have not conceded in either of the two games Gareth Ainsworth has been in charge.
He said: “They are a strong side defensively. Iain had got them very well organised and they have a terrific attitude and appetite for work.
“They got off to a good side and have players with a good attitude.
“They are a side that will be up there.”
Ipswich Town: R Wright, Supple, Volz, D Wright, Bruce, Naylor, McAuley, Thatcher, Campo, Shumulikoski, Miller, Garvan, Quinn, Walters, Rhodes, Lisbie, Counago, Stead.
QPR: Cerny, Cole, Delaney, Connolly, Stewart, Hall, Gorkss, Parejo, Ledesma, Rowlands, Tommassi, Cook, Mahon, Blackstock, Buzsaky, Di Carmine, Ephraim.