Hollman answers keeper Wright's critics

IPSWICH Town goalkeeping coach James Hollman today answered the critics of Blues goalkeeper Richard Wright.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town goalkeeping coach James Hollman today answered the critics of Blues goalkeeper Richard Wright.

“Everything in my department is going the way we want,” said Hollman.

Some Blues fans are questioning the wisdom of manager Jim Magilton's decision to bring Ipswich-born Wright back to the club in the summer.

But the 30-year-old two-cap England international proved many of his doubters wrong with a stunning display in Tuesday's 3-0 Coca-Cola Championship victory over Barnsley.

Many more showings like that and Ipswich's chances of moving up the table to challenge for promotion will become much more likely.

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And to prove Hollman's faith in Wright, Tuesday's clean sheet was Wright's fourth in nine league starts since his return to his home town club.

It took Town 17 league games to reach this figure last term, and at this stage they had only achieved one.

In total, Neil Alexander and Stephen Bywater managed ten between them in the whole of the campaign - a total of 48 league and cup games.

Hollman applauds Wright's return to his best.

The coach, who took over from Andy Rhodes in July, said: “Richard sets high standards and he has been short of his targets in some matches.

“Not by much, and when he was at fault he did not have the run of the ball.

“He has come through that, and this shows what a strong character he is.

“We knew that it might take time for him to recapture his best form after playing a reduced number of first team games in previous few seasons.

“But I have been generally delighted with the big decisions he has had to make. He can keep sharp and hone his skills in training, but it can take a little while to find your best match form. Everything is going the way that we want.”

Hollman says that Town's defence can get even meaner, and he added: “Gareth McAuley and Richard Naylor are looking very secure at the heart of the defence, and if you don't concede goals then you don't lose games.

“Some supporters made their frustrations known during Saturday's home draw against Crystal Palace, but if you looked at the table we were only two wins away from the play-offs - with not far short of 40 games still to go.

“And now we are two points behind the play-offs with confidence high going into Saturday's match at Charlton.

“The ship has been steadied and it's nice to see my department doing well, and we are all pulling together.”

Wright knows the shortcomings of playing in his position, saying: “It's never plain sailing being a goalkeeper.”

Mistakes by midfielders or strikers go unpunished, but one error by a keeper often results in a goal.

This is a cross that all keepers have to bear.