Billy: We can play better

IPSWICH Town moved up to fourth in the Coca-Cola Championship with their 12th consecutive home victory.

By Elvin King

IPSWICH Town moved up to fourth in the Coca-Cola Championship with their 12th consecutive home victory.

And 19-year-old Billy Clarke, who continues to impress on the left side of midfield, says 12 months ago the 2-0 victory over Southampton at Portman Road would not have been achieved.

“This time last season we did not have enough about us to grind out wins,” said Clarke.

“In the last 12 months we have made progress as a team and as a squad.

“We have built up a fantastic home run and included in our wins have been a couple of scrappy ones like last night.

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“They are just as important as the big commanding victories.”

The Blues are on the brink of being taken over with the formalities of Marcus Evans' purchase of the club set to be agreed by the end of the week.

And with four of their six games before Christmas at home Ipswich have a chance to cement their position as serious promotion challengers and become Christmas Record Breakers.

Now that Gavin Williams is back from injury, Clarke faces stiffer opposition to maintain his place in the side, although he was recalled at the expense of the Welsh international last night.

And he made the most of it with an eye-catching all-round display when Ipswich were not at their best and won through goals from Jon Walters (34 minutes) and Pablo Counago (69 minutes).

Walters's goal takes him level with leading scorer Alan Lee on eight with Counago now just one behind.

It was a fluke, with the former Chester player deflecting Clarke's shot into the net.

“I did not connect properly after Tommy Miller touched a free-kick to me,” recalled Clarke.

“Jon got a touch and he is saying that he meant it.

“The ball careered off into the right place with enough pace to beat the keeper as he scrambled back.

“It was fortunate, but we will take that.”

Clarke netted his first league goal against Southampton last season at Portman Road, and he is yet to find the net this term.

He added: “I am screaming out for a goal, but the main thing is for the team to do well.

“We know we can play better than last night, and I am happy on the left side although I will play wherever the gaffer wants.”

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