Ipswich Town boss: ‘Fans, pundits, journalists will always have a scapegoat’

Dean Gerken takes a goal kick during the Ipswich Town v Huddersfield Town (Championship) match at P

Dean Gerken takes a goal kick during the Ipswich Town v Huddersfield Town (Championship) match at Portman Road, Ipswich, on 17 October 2015. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

Mick McCarthy is glad Dean Gerken is proving his doubters wrong, but insists the goalkeeper has done nothing wrong to warrant fan criticism.

Gerken was singled out at times during the Blues’ blip in September and October, but has stayed an ever-present in the league and has been on the top of his game in recent weeks.

McCarthy has been reluctant to make changes in the defensive area of the pitch this season, but that doesn’t mean that the manager has had to keep faith with his loyal troops.

“I don’t understand the comments that I have kept faith (in Gerken), I didn’t have to that much as he was playing well,” explained McCarthy.

“The only goal I would put half down to him was the third one at Reading, I can’t think of any others.

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“But it’s always the same whether it’s fans, pundits or journalists, you have got to find something and there is always a bit of wallpaper that you can pick at until it peels off.

“That’s no criticism of anybody, it’s the way it is, and it’s up to the manager to know who is playing well and to know when to make changes when they’re necessary.”

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Meanwhile, Gerken’s displays have been hailed by Tommy Smith, who has been another impressive component of Town’s much-improved rearguard over the last six months.

“Over the last few games he’s come out with the man-of-the-match award in a couple of them if not more. He’s a top quality goalkeeper and he’s doing really well for us at the moment and long may that continue.

“It’s unfortunate for Bart (Bartosz Bialkowski) as he’s just as good a goalie and found himself in the unfortunate position of missing out on a game for personal reasons. He’s struggled to find a way back into the team which is a credit to Deano.”

After a gruelling league schedule, Town turn their attention to the FA Cup, with League Two Portsmouth – the 2008 winners – the visitors to Portman Road in the third round on Saturday.

McCarthy has often opted to rest his frontline players in cup competitions but Smith is not sure of his manager’s plans.

“I’m not sure yet but that one will be up to the gaffer,” he said.

“A lot of the team have played every single game so he may see this as an opportunity to rest some players.

“But it’s a cup competition that we want to go as far as we can in.”

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