From hurt to pride – Aaron Cresswell hails Town’s defensive improvements

THE Blues are a laughing stock no more.

Individual errors and inept defending have been replaced by a rock-solid attitude and clean sheets to match as Ipswich have finally started to build from the back.

Saturday’s 0-0 draw at Derby County was Town’s sixth clean sheet in 13 matches – and their 12th of the season.

For left-back Aaron Cresswell, the hurt felt after embarrassing defeats by the likes of Peterborough, Burnley and Leeds earlier this season is a thing of the past.

“Defenders pride themselves on clean sheets and to get another is a credit to the back four and the whole team to be honest,” said Cresswell, who ensured Town left Pride Park with a point after clearing Jason Shackell’s header off the line in the 85th minute.

“We have come a long way from where we were a few months ago. I was hurting when we conceded all those goals.

“But we are on a great little run at the minute and clean sheets are all you can ask for.”

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Town’s hard-earned point kept them 15th in the Championship when a victory would have left them only out of the top ten on goal difference.

But they have now lost just twice in the last 14 matches and they will look to keep that form, not to mention their impressive eight-match unbeaten run at home, going when Leicester City are the visitors to Portman Road today (kick-off 3pm).

Manager Paul Jewell must decide whether to change his side for the Blues’ second match in 48 hours against a Leicester team still eyeing a top-six finish after an equally underwhelming campaign.

Jewell said: “Leicester will still think they have a chance of getting into the play-offs so it will be tricky.”