Ipswich Town fans can make a big difference to our performances, says Grant Ward
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Ipswich Town midfielder Grant Ward says the players are so glad to have the fans back on side ahead of tomorrow’s visit of Brentford to Portman Road.
The atmosphere inside Portman Road turned sour last season as Mick McCarthy’s men laboured to a 16th place Championship finish.
Four straight wins at the start of this campaign, summer signings impressing and youngsters breaking through has helped bring back the feelgood factor back though with the travelling army of Blues fans in fine voice throughout Tuesday night’s thrilling 4-3 win at Millwall.
“It was great support,” said Ward. “The top of that stand was full and they made so much noise.
“The fans make a big difference and they can really add to the team. You can feel their energy on the pitch, whether it’s good or bad.
“When something bad happens you can feel the groan and it can drain you, but when it’s buzzing you feed off that.
“You try and tune out from it when the mood is negative, but it’s hard and you might not play as confidently as you can when the atmosphere is like that.
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“We just wanted to get them back onside. We’re looking forward to playing in front of our fans on Saturday.”
Town’s perfect start has been despite a lengthy injury and illness list, with no fewer than 10 players having been unavailable in midweek. That meant Ward had to play in a deeper central role.
“I’ve played there a number of times and it’s a position I’m comfortable in,” said the former Tottenham man. “There were few things I could have done better, but overall I thought I did well.
“I do like it in the centre because I feel like I can be a bit more influential. Skusey (Cole Skuse) likes to sit and that gives you a bit more of a licence to get forwards.”
With McCarthy hoping to add a centre-back to his squad in time for tomorrow’s game, Ward added: “When I was at Spurs (youth team) I was the utility man – I just played everywhere.
“I’d get put in a position for one game, play well and end up staying there for a while. I was right wing-back for quite a while, I played a whole year at left-back even though I’m not left-footed.
“I’m comfortable wing-back, wing, centre-mid, up top – most places to be honest. I even had a few games at centre-back. Don’t tell the gaffer that though!”