Delaney: It’s all for one and one for all at Town
THE Ipswich Town juggernaut surges into Brighton today, ready to test the resolve of one of the Championship’s most attractive teams.
Gus Poyet’s Seagulls have earned a reputation for playing the beautiful game but Town, chasing their fifth straight league win, are ready to upset the Uruguayan’s men.
Town themselves have the ability to pass the best teams off the park but, according to defender Damien Delaney, have added an extra string to their bow in recent weeks – defending from the front.
“When we were shipping loads of goals, everyone was tanking the back four but it was not just us to blame, like it is not just the strikers’ fault when we are not scoring,” said Delaney.
“Football is the ultimate team game.
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“You have to work hard to win games and the work-rate we are putting at the moment is not blind, there is a pattern, a feel and an understanding to what we are doing.
“In the past, a lot of our attacking was off the cuff but it was the same with our defending and people were not 100 per cent sure what they were doing.”
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Striker Michael Chopra will be hoping to add to his 12 league goals this season while in-form trio Daryl Murphy, Lee Martin and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas have the opportunity to further enhance their reputations as key men in the Blues’ attack.
While their attacking flair is their bread and butter, Delaney has earmarked the quartet’s work-rate and defensive qualities as a key factor behind Town’s rise up the table.
“You see Daryl Murphy getting back to help Aaron Cresswell. It is the same on the other side with Jay Emmanuel-Thomas and he does not realise how much easier that makes my job,” said Delaney.
“If he can halve the amount of crosses that are coming into my box just by running back 15 yards, there is less chance that we are going to concede.
“When the (opposition) goalkeepers get the ball now, Murph (Daryl Murphy) is so high up the pitch that he is stopping the ball getting out so easy, Chops is closing down centre-halves, making it difficult for them to pick a pass and Lee Martin’s energy and drive is occupying defenders.
“That kind of selfless running makes a team, both ways.”
Delaney looks certain to start his third game in succession following a frustrating season so far which has seen him sidelined due to a combination of injury and a lack of form.
“Hopefully I have turned a corner, but I have turned that many in three years here, I am almost going round in circles,” joked Delaney. “I don’t want to tempt fate.”