'We have players who can create' - Ward insists Town can solve issues in final third

Stephen Ward takes a throw at Wigan

Stephen Ward still believes Ipswich Town can make the play-offs this season. Photo: Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Stephen Ward is convinced Ipswich Town possess the players necessary to solve their creativity issues as they bid to push for promotion.  

The Blues failed to score for the 13th time this season as they drew 0-0 with Wigan, with the Suffolk side’s League One goals total of 39 better than only Northampton, Bristol Rovers and AFC Wimbledon this season. 

A lack of punch in the final third has been Ipswich’s Achilles heel over much of the last three years, but Ward believes Paul Cook has the players at his disposal to put things right. 

“We know we have the capabilities so maybe it’s just that bit of confidence that’s missing,” Ward said. 

Stephen Ward takes a throw at Wigan

Stephen Ward takes a throw at Wigan - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

“Maybe we just need one to go in for us because, no matter what we seemed to do they had an answer for it, which is disappointing because as a team we have players who can create chances. 

“The manager has come in to a club where there are a lot of players but a lot of very good players. 

“We need to take responsibility on ourselves because on the pitch it’s up to us. The manager and the staff can only do so much throughout the week by giving us gameplans and setting us up well.  

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“We have to shoulder responsibility and get better in the final third. We see it in training and we know what we can do, so it’s about bringing that into the games.” 

The draw at the DW Stadium leaves Cook with a win, two draws and three defeats from his first six games as Ipswich boss, with Ward believing he and the rest of the squad are slowly implementing their new manager’s plan. 

Stephen Ward takes a throw at Wigan

Stephen Ward still believes Ipswich Town can make the play-offs this season. Photo: Pagepix - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

“It’s difficult for a manager coming in during the season to get his style of play across, but we’re working really hard at that,” Ward said. “You can see glimpses of it in games I think. 

“He’s meticulous in how he wants us to play but he also gives us freedom. We’re working really hard and hopefully we can see the benefits of that. 

“As a team we look solid but we know there are always areas to improve. We know we want to improve as a squad and hopefully we can take that into two big games this weekend. 

“We’ve come to a tough place where they’ve picked up results recently, so we have to dust ourselves down and make this point count by going and getting three on Friday against Bristol Rovers. 

“It’s always pleasing to get a clean sheet but as a team we need to be better going forward. It can’t just fall on the lads at that end of the pitch.” 

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