David Wright: My dad's death changed me

DEPENDABLE David Wright may not catch the eye like Mexican Giovani Dos Santos but the defender has emerged as a contender for Ipswich Town player of the year.

Derek Davis

DEPENDABLE David Wright may not catch the eye like Mexican Giovani Dos Santos but the defender has emerged as a contender for Ipswich Town player of the year.

Wright, along with skipper Gareth McAuley and keeper Richard Wright, will very probably scoop many of the votes when the awards are handed out at the end of the season after seeing off all the competition for his starting spot yet again.

Courage and consistency has been the watchword for Wright who puts his new-found footballing philosophy down to losing his dad Geoff nearly two years ago.

Wright explained: “I have changed over time.

“Since my dad passed away I have brought my football into perspective. In the past if I had made a mistake I was a bear with a sore head for quite a few days.

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“Now I'm a bit more philosophical I learn and tell myself that has gone now let us look forward to Saturday or Tuesday and make sure I don't make the mistake again.”

While never a nine and rarely a five in the match ratings and a �200,000 bargain buy from Wigan, Wright has learned how to put in steady performances week after week, even when suffering from injury.

He ignored the pain if three stitches in a gash on an ankle that has also swollen up in between games, to play well in the clean sheet at Reading and again in the draws against Burnley on Tuesday.

Fear of losing his place also drives him on but after seeing off the likes of Danny Simpson last year and Moritz Volz this season, Wright has no intention of letting anyone take his starting spot - even the popular Alex Bruce.

He said: “I hate missing games - full stop. I would never miss one if there is the slightest chance of playing. I would throw my hat in the ring every time rather than have a so called day off with swollen ankle.

“If I had not played Brucey would have come in and then you have to fight for your spot.

“That is the way managers like it with players being kept on their toes.

“It is better for the team when they know they can't be comfortable knowing they are safe.

“I have been kept on my toes with Moritz and Danny but I just get on with it.

“I don't know or whinge about it I get my head down and play football and hope that is enough for the manager.”

While not always spectacular, although he came forward to make a mazy run against Burnley that almost came off, Wright rarely puts a foot wrong and if he ever does he knows how to handle it.

He said: “With experience comes consistency. You know how to have a bad game. If a young lad has a bad game they drift out of the game and find it hard whereas a more experience player just goes back to basics. As a defender that means just head it, kick it, deal with it.

“Get into your hole and stop your man as best you can and build on that and work your socks off.

“You learn from the bad game and move on to the next one.

“You have to learn the lessons from mistakes but while there is nothing you can do about them, you learn and don't let it happen again.”

Wright is realistic enough to accept the play-offs are a big ask but refuses to throw in the towel just yet.

He said: “The whole season has been a roller coaster but apart from the Southampton game we have hit a level of consistency. If we can keep that consistency and pick up points we can be in the mix.

“Apart from Watford on Saturday all the teams we now face are above us. If we take maximum points we are hurting their ambition and helping our own.

“Yes they are tough games but we have just been to Wolves and Reading and got results. Preston and Cardiff are opening a gap and we need to pull them back.”

Wright has been a player of the year award winner in the past, twice, at Crewe where the likes of David Platt, Danny Murphy, Robbie savage and Rob Jones are among those names adorn the trophy

“You look at those names and think wow - so it was special for me.”

You never know his name could join another elite list this time at Portman Road and that would something else his dad would be proud off.


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