An unwanted record and the Blues have it
IPSWICH Town are lumbered with an unwanted record – they are the only club in the npower Football League not to have scored a first-half goal this season.
Town have failed to score in the first 45 minutes of each of their first eight league and cup games of the campaign, an eye-catching statistic.
Every other club in the Championship, League One and League Two have managed to bag a goal before half-time.
In fact, when embracing the Premier League as well, Town only have pointless West Ham as company for not scoring a first-half goal out of all 92 League clubs. And the Hammers have only played five fixtures so far this season.
Certainly, if Town boss Roy Keane was a sprints coach, then he would be dragging in his athletes for extra training to practise their starts.
Quite simply, despite their satisfactory start to the campaign, Keane’s men have been stuck in the blocks too often.
That was the case during Tuesday’s crushing 3-0 home defeat at the hands of league leaders QPR, and it has applied to previous games as well.
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“I didn’t know we hadn’t scored in the first half,” admitted Keane.
“But I said we didn’t play well in the first half at Portsmouth (0-0), and I don’t think we played particularly well in the first half at home to Bristol City (2-0 win).
“That’s something that we’ll have to look at.
“We didn’t start the game well (against QPR). Too many of my players were off the pace. We weren’t at our sharpest,” added Keane.
Town have a chance to get back on track this Saturday, when they again entertain one of the Championship’s promotion favourites in Cardiff City.
Keane is hoping for a dramatic improvement on his side’s showing against QPR, which marked Town’s first defeat of the season.
And he expects a reaction.
“We need to do better, we know that,” continued Keane.
“There are important lessons to be learnt, in terms of doing the basics. I don’t think we did the basics well against QPR, in terms of defending, and our team shape wasn’t great.
“They’ll be a reaction against Cardiff.
“We had loads of disappointments last year, but this is the first one this year, particularly for the younger players, and they’ll have to react.
“We’ve got a bit to go yet, but there’s no need to panic. We’re all disappointed, but we have to learn from that.
“If we had thought we were going to go through the whole season without getting beaten, then we were kidding ourselves. We know this team has a long way to go yet. We’re short and we know that,” added Keane.
The Town boss also revealed that he is closing in on a new loan signing, which could be completed as early as today.