Ipswich Town boss to stick with keeper Dean Gerken after mistakes, telling disappointed back-up Scott Loach ‘unlucky’

Dean Gerken is congratulated at Nottingham Forest by Luke Chambers. Photo: PAGEPIX LTD

Dean Gerken is congratulated at Nottingham Forest by Luke Chambers. Photo: PAGEPIX LTD

Ipswich v Reading: Ipswich Town manager Mick McCarthy is keeping the faith with custodian Dean Gerken today.

The Essex-born keeper has played the last 22 league games for the Blues and was in superb form over a fruitful Christmas and New Year period.

He has made two high-profile mistakes in his last two games though, pushing a long-range shot straight into the path of Gary O’Neil to tap home in the 3-1 home defeat to QPR and then letting Ryan Frederick’s mis-hit cross sail over him and into the far corner of net in last weekend’s 1-0 loss at Millwall.

“He’s playing,” said McCarthy, when asked about Gerken ahead of today’s visit of Reading to Portman Road. “That was never, ever in doubt at all. He’s been different class; he’s been outstanding.

“I have to say when that cross came in last week I thought ‘happy days, that’s going over the top’ unfortunately Gerks thought that as well and he’s the one that matters.

“It happens sometimes. It’s not like he’s playing badly – it’s not like he’s dropping crosses or he’s missing shots – that was just one of those misjudgements. Let me tell you, it happened to me.”

It means that Scott Loach – who let in four goals in the two FA Cup ties against League One side Preston recently – will have to continue to bide his time, the 25-year-old’s dream move to his boyhood club having not worked out quite the way he would have hoped for so far.

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Last season he was twice dropped for lengthy spells when loanee Stephen Henderson was brought in, while this season he was relegated to the bench after the team lost three of its opening four league matches.

Asked how sticking with Gerken following mistakes differed to the way Loach has been quickly dropped following similar errors, McCarthy replied: “I just want to play Dean Gerken. The player that’s out of the team will always see it as a little bit unjust and say ‘I’m not sure the manager got that quite right’. Unlucky.

“There are times when you just have to say ‘I’m picking you today, not you’. They have to take it. I tell them and that’s the way it is. If they disagree with me, well unlucky.”

Loach recently admitted that there might come a stage where he would have to put his career before his love of the club he grew up supporting. He said: “I was disappointed when I first got dropped (by Paul Jewell) for Hendo last season because that was my first mistake in an Ipswich shirt and I thought I was a bit unlucky.

“Hendo was brilliant though and I have to hold my hands up and say Gerks has done very well too. The gaffer has got to do what he feels is right at any given time and when you look back you’ve got to say it works for him because we’ve gone from relegation battlers to maybe promotion potential.”

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