After playing alongside EIGHTEEN different keepers and defenders, Aaron Cresswell is hoping for a settled Ipswich Town back five

Aaron Cresswell is hopeful he can finally play in a settled back five after lining up alongside EIGHTEEN different keepers and defenders during his short time at the club.

The 22-year-old left-back has missed just two matches for Ipswich Town since stepping up from League One side Tranmere Rovers little over 16 months ago.

However, in the 68 games he has started, he has played alongside six goalkeepers (David Stockdale, Richard Wright, Arran Lee-Barrett, Alex McCarthy, Scott Loach and Stephen Henderson), five right-backs (Carlos Edwards, Jaime Peters, Jack Ainsley, Reece Wabara and Bradley Orr) as well as seven different centre-backs (Ivar Ingimarsson, Damien Delaney, Tommy Smith, Ibrahima Sonko, Danny Collins, Luke Chambers and Danny Higginbotham).

New boss Mick McCarthy chopped and changed in his early games in charge, but now appears to have found a formula that works in the form of Henderson, Orr, Chambers, Smith and Cresswell, with the Blues having recorded impressive back-to-back wins over Nottingham Forest and Bolton with that mix of youth and experience at the back.

Millwall arrive at Portman Road tomorrow unbeaten in 13 games having kept clean sheets for the last four matches in succession. Lions boss Kenny Jackett has selected the same back five for the last seven games in a row – and it’s that sort of defensive continuity that Cresswell believes will benefit the Blues going forward.

“I’ve certainly played alongside a few different players during my time here,” admitted the left-back. “The back four hasn’t changed too much over the last few games though and that can only help.

“That’s not a slight on the lads that have played there, but we’re looking a good defensive unit and have a good shape about us at the moment. The last few games Tommy (Smith) has been excellent, as have Chambo, Bradley and Hendo.”

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Skipper Carlos Edwards has been converted from right-back to right-wing under McCarthy’s management, while Cresswell did finish one game on the left of midfield. The Liverpudlian says fans shouldn’t expect him to play in a more advanced role too often though.

He said: “I prefer to play left-back. And anyway, Lee (Martin) has been doing well on the left. He’s a great player to be alongside because he’ll graft every game. On the stats he always comes up as one of those who does the most running.

“He’s very good going forward, but he also puts in the work defensively and that helps my game a lot.”