Town coach on Palace display, fans' return, transfer business and Evans' absence

Jean-Phillipe Mateta hits the bar for
palace.

Jean-Phillipe Mateta hits the bar for palace. - Credit: Steve Waller - www.stephenwaller

Ipswich Town coach Ian Craney hopes fans were given a taste of what his side can be this season during their pre-season friendly clash with Crystal Palace. 

The Blues lost the game 1-0, following Wilfried Zaha’s penalty in the second half, but lived with the Premier League side throughout the 90 minutes and gave plenty of cause for optimism. 

Six new signings started the game, all showing glimpses of what they can do, with Wes Burns perhaps the pick of the new crop of players following an all-action display which saw him look to run at the Palace backline. 

“We’re really pleased with it,” Craney said. “We were on the pitch with top opposition and we showed we were worthy of that. 

ITFC coach Ian Craney.

ITFC coach Ian Craney. - Credit: Steve Waller - www.stephenwaller

“We got exactly what we needed from the game and it’s 60 minutes we’re all very happy with. 

“We were a threat, while they were a threat, so there were a lot of positives to take. 

“The team shape was superb, I thought, against some top quality players and we have to take all of the positives. 

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“I thought Cameron Humphreys was outstanding today and I thought Wes Burns was a real threat. We have a lot of positives from that game and hopefully we can take that on. 

“We need more games and, once we’ve got those minutes in, we should be bang at it.” 

When it was pointed out the Blues won’t be coming up against players of Zaha’s quality in League One, Craney replied with a smile: “Not diving like that, either.” 

The game was played out in front of a crowd of more than 6,000, which the return of supporters after so long away producing a superb atmosphere to whet the appetite for the season ahead. 

Rekeem Harper in action.

Rekeem Harper in action. - Credit: Steve Waller - www.stephenwaller

“It was great to have the fans back with all the noise,” Craney said. 

“In the second half when James Norwood was charging down their full-back to win it back, the crowd were off their feet and that’s what it’s all about. Hopefully that’s what we’re going to bring this season. 

“It’s good for the young lads to play in front of a crowd so it was a real positive day.” 

During what is a busy summer in the transfer market, the Town squad remains light in a number of areas. But Craney believes the Blues are in good shape, even if further arrivals are needed. 

“The squad does need a little more but we’re happy with what we’ve got now,” he said. 

“We want to add a few more to that and, if we do, we’ll be in good shape. 

“Joe (Pigott) and Scott (Fraser) need more games and minutes but they are quality footballers. If we get them the ball in the right areas they will hurt teams. 

“There are a lot of new names but the atmosphere in the changing rooms is superb. It’s about working in the right direction.” 

Crystal Palace team manager Patrick Vieira looks on.

Crystal Palace team manager Patrick Vieira looks on. - Credit: Steve Waller - www.stephenwaller.com

Midfielder Lee Evans was a notable absence this afternoon, with Craney revealing the Welshman has been dealing with a knock. 

“Lee had a bit of a niggle so we’re looking after him,” he said. 

“He’ll be fit for next week and then raring to go for the start of the season. He’ll make a massive difference to our team because he’s a top quality player. 

“If you look at what we did today, then add Lee Evans to it, then we’re in good shape.” 

Jon Nolan also missed the game as he continues to struggle with a niggling calf injury, with the midfielder described as being ‘days away’ from a return. 

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