Horlock calls for goals

PERHAPS it would be appropriate for Ipswich to run out to football anthem 'Vindaloo', which contains the line: “We're going to score one more than you”.

By Derek Davis

PERHAPS it would be appropriate for Ipswich to run out to football anthem 'Vindaloo', which contains the line: “We're going to score one more than you”.

With Town's defensive record not as good as it could be, the Blues are relying on their formidable attacking force to see them secure points against Preston today and Sheffield United on Tuesday, also at home.

So, according to Kevin Horlock, who has won promotion three times before, people should not get hung up on a leaky defence.

The Blues midfielder said: “If we go a goal down we are confident we can come back and win.

“Although we would like to keep clean sheets, realistically it is not going to happen, so we just have to score more. Conceding doesn't matter that much, if, in every game, you are scoring more goals than the opposition. At the same time, it is important to have a secure base on which to build from.

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“We are all aiming to concede fewer goals, not just the back four but the whole team. It is all of us and it starts from the front.”

Town have not kept a clean sheet in the league since September 12, when they beat Millwall 2-0, and have not had a goalless draw since the away match against the same side last December.

At the same time, no team has prevented them from scoring at Portman Road since Norwich beat them 2-0 - also last December.

Horlock is used to winning promotion with attack-minded sides, most recently with Kevin Keegan at Manchester City. He has also gone up into the top flight with Swindon Town and City twice.

He said: “There were not that many clean sheets at City, especially under Kevin Keegan in the last promotion to the Premiership.

“We were pretty free-scoring and no one really paid much attention to the defending - we just steamrollered teams.

“It is similar to here at Ipswich. The good thing is, if you are going to concede goals, then we have enough players here who can score goals.”

Today's opposition at Portman Road can bang them in too, with Richard Cresswell the leading striker on nine goals, but Horlock is relieved to see fellow Northern Ireland international David Healy has left to join Leeds United.

He said: “Healy has been vital for them for the past four years or so. He is an out-and-out goal-scorer and he will be missed.

“Preston are a steady team and have been for years, They are strong again this season and I can't see many teams taking a lot of points from them.”

The game also reunites him with a former Maine Road mate, Dickson Etuhu, who he warns, will be a threat. Horlock recalls: “Dickson was a young lad at City and actually kept me out of the team for a few games when Keegan was there.

“He did extremely well. He is very athletic, gets about the pitch well and causes havoc. He decided to go to Preston instead of staying at City and only he knows if that was a good move or not.”

The midfielder, who is 32 on Monday, is enjoying an Indian summer of a career after Alan Pardew's arrival at Upton Park soured his return to the club he started out with, playing alongside fellow apprentice Matt Holland.

A beaming Horlock said: “I'm enjoying myself here as much as I can ever remember playing football.

“Last year was difficult for me at West Ham and felt agitated that it didn't work out. I have come here and I'm playing with good players and it suits me perfectly.”

Talking of goals. Horlock, who has started in every game bar the Carling Cup match against Brentford, which he came on for anyway, has yet to score this season, but as long as Town score one more than Preston he will not care.

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