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Kings of Anglia Issue 9 Magazine Offer

‘The gaffer and Doigy have been brilliant’ – Gerken’s praise for ‘positive’ and ‘consistent’ management duo

PUBLISHED: 06:00 29 September 2018

Ipswich Town boss Paul Hurst (right) and assistant Chris Doig. Photo: Ross Halls

Ipswich Town boss Paul Hurst (right) and assistant Chris Doig. Photo: Ross Halls

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Ipswich Town goalkeeper Dean Gerken has heaped praise on manager Paul Hurst and assistant Chris Doig ahead of this afternoon’s Championship match at Birmingham City.

Dean Gerken is set to make his 100th appearance for Ipswich Town. Photo: Steve WallerDean Gerken is set to make his 100th appearance for Ipswich Town. Photo: Steve Waller

The Blues are still searching for their first win of the campaign following five home draws and five away defeats across all competitions.

“You could go into that changing room right now and you wouldn’t know if we were second top or second bottom – genuinely,” insisted Gerken, who has played the last four games after Bartosz Bialkowski was dropped for the East Anglian derby.

MORE: Search for a win, silver linings and wildcards on the bench - big questions ahead of Birmingham visit

“I know people come in here and give you spiel, but I’ve been there, done it and seen it. I’ll say it how it is, that doesn’t bother me.

“There’s a buzz around the training sessions, the music’s on, everyone’s bouncing, banter is flying about and that all comes from the top. The gaffer and Doigy have been brilliant.

“Don’t get me wrong, they tell us we need to be winning games, but there is also that level of consistency in the way they act which obviously rubs off on how we are around the place.

MORE: ‘He’s trained, looked sharp and scored a few goals’ - Hurst says Sears still has a role to play

“No-one has gone into themselves. There is no difference between the players who are playing and not playing. I think the gaffer gives enough positive feedback to everyone for them to know they’ve got a chance of playing. The level of consistency from them has been so good.”

Town assistant boss Chris Doig. Photo: PagepixTown assistant boss Chris Doig. Photo: Pagepix

The 33-year-old, who is set to make his 100th appearance for the Blues today, added: “I think we’re getting closer to where we need to be. We’re not winning games, but I don’t feel like we are getting pulled from pillar to post like I’ve felt in goal during certain times in my career.

“Brentford was a game of two halves wasn’t it? First half was like playing against the Red Arrows! As much as I didn’t have a lot to do first half, some cleaning up and a couple of basic saves, it was their movement which was hard to deal with mentally. I don’t think I’ve come across that many times. After the game I was like ‘I’ve got a headache from watching that!’

MORE: ‘I’ve had a player say they think it’s the best squad we’ve had’ – Hurst on mood in Town camp

“Second half we changed the system and you wouldn’t have thought that Brentford team was lying second in the league. We had a great opportunity to actually win the game. So we know we can do it, and if we can do it against a team like Brentford then we have to take the positives from that.

Dean Gerken has been back in the team for four games after Bartosz Bialkowski was dropped for the East Anglian derby. Photo: Steve WallerDean Gerken has been back in the team for four games after Bartosz Bialkowski was dropped for the East Anglian derby. Photo: Steve Waller

“I feel comfortable behind the back four. Psychologically it was a case of ‘get a clean sheet’ (in last weekend’s goalless home draw with Bolton) and now hopefully it will be like London buses and they’ll come again and again and again now.

“Even in the Hull game, where we didn’t have too many shots on target, there were moments where the ball flies across the face and, when you’re flying, the ball hits a defender and goes in. Those things aren’t going for us at the minute.

MORE: Dean Gerken on replacing Bialkowski, major hip surgery and his Ipswich Town future

“You make your own luck though. We’ll keep plugging away and I’m sure those snap-shots will soon become goals.”

Nathan Winder is the new fitness coach at Ipswich Town. Photo: Steve WallerNathan Winder is the new fitness coach at Ipswich Town. Photo: Steve Waller

Long-term and popular goalkeeper coach Malcolm Webster retired this summer, with Darren Smith being promoted to the role from within.

“Mally, for want of a better word, has groomed him to make the step up,” explained Gerken. “Smudge has been around us for a long time, he knows how we work and the training sessions haven’t changed that much. We do the same routines.

“It’s a massive opportunity for him to work at this level and so far it’s been a smooth transition. Nothing’s changed drastically in terms of what we do goalkeeper wise.

MORE: FIFA 19 is out... so how are the Ipswich Town players rated?

“Obviously the fitness stuff has changed with Nathan (Winder) and (Chris) Skitty – and that can only help us. It’s what most teams do nowadays with the conditioning and the pre-activation and stuff like that.

“That’s been brilliant for me (post hip surgery) with the muscles I’ve had to wake up. That’s happening within training sessions now rather than having to work on it individually on my own, which can be a slog.

“Now you’re automatically getting this conditioning in your body which helps not only me, but I would think if you asked most of the players they’d say it’s helping them too.”

Striker Kayden Jackson scored a hat-trick as Ipswich Town defeated QPR 5-1 in a behind-closed-doors friendly at Playford Road this afternoon.

Trevoh Chalobah has been training with the full England squad today ahead of the Three Lions’ clash with the United States tomorrow night.

Jordan Graham is training with Oxford United after being given permission to move on by Ipswich Town.

Teenager Jack Lankester hopes to be involved with the Ipswich Town first team for the remainder of the season but would be prepared to spend time out on loan if it aides his development.

Ipswich Town boss Paul Lambert has been impressing the players with his skills on the training pitch. STUART WATSON looks back on his playing career.

Tristan Nydam is keen to make the most of his loan stay in Scotland but is still keeping a firm eye on parent club Ipswich Town.

Former Ipswich Town boss Paul Hurst is the favourite in the betting as his former club Shrewsbury search for a new manager.

Former Ipswich Town goalkeeper Shane Supple has announced his retirement from football for a second time, due to a persistent hip injury.

In our daily feature, we take a look at what happened on this day in Ipswich Town’s history. Today features David Johnson signing for Town and Sir Bobby Robson’s testimonial match at Portman Road

Former Ipswich Town loanee Richie Wellens has been appointed Swindon Town manager, naming Noel Hunt as his assistant.

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