‘It’s what Ipswich Town is about... I can’t thank them enough’ - Klug on Town fans’ reaction in Villa loss
Caretaker manager Bryan Klug thanked the Portman Road crowd for their reaction to his team despite their comprehensive 4-0 home loss to Aston Villa.
The Blues were well-beaten with a brace from Lewis Grabban and strikes from Conor Hourihane and Henri Lansbury doing the damage on an afternoon where Grant Ward’s first-half red card left the hosts with a mountain to climb.
But, despite the result, the 20,000-strong home crowd continued to back the team to the very end and applauded Klug and his side as they left the field at full-time.
“I can’t speak highly enough of them,” Klug said of the fans..
“I think they recognised the team was still putting effort in although we weren’t getting too close to certain people, but we were putting effort in.
“That (the crowd’s reaction) was one of the things that was important to me and all I can do is really, really thank the people who came along today and supported the club.
“It was my biggest nightmare of a result but at least I felt it was what Ipswich Town was about really.
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“All I can do is thank them.”
Ward’s red card came just before the interval as the former Tottenham man raked his studs down the leg of Welsh international Neil Taylor, with Klug admitting the right decision was made but insisting there was no malice in his player’s challenge.
“I felt up to then, I’m not saying we were the better team but we were in the game,” he said.
“We were playing a very good team and had a plan for the game and then when something like that (the red card) happens then it goes out the window I’m afraid.
“It was right in front of us and I don’t think there was any malice in the challenge but he did catch him high and it gives the referee a chance to do that and I have no real complaints about it.
“There’s no malice at all and it did look like he was hurt, although I don’t think he was, but that’s no criticism of him. I don’t think it was even rash, I just don’t think Grant even saw him.”
When it was put to him Ward’s red card made an already tough task even tougher, Klug replied: “As it turned out it made it impossible.
“We tried different ways of trying to get something out the game but that obviously left us a bit open and they have some fantastic players who were able to capitalise. In the end we were well-beaten but it’s not through lack of effort.
“We made some uncharacteristic mistakes for that group in the way that we defended and gave the ball away in certain areas but they are a good team.”
Klug, who will now take charge of the team for the visit to Reading and home clash with Middlesbrough, once again insisted he has no desire to take the manager’s job on a permanent basis.
“Unless the owner can find somebody else,” he said.
“I’m expecting to be but I would be delighted it if it’s not.
“That’s always been well know, yes. It’s not for me but I’m sure the owner is going to find somebody who can lead this club.”