Ipswich Town goalkeeper is more assured behind current back four

Stephen Henderson punches clear

Stephen Henderson punches clear - Credit: Phill Heywood

Stephen Henderson conceded a miserable 19 goals in his first seven games as an Ipswich Town player.

Fast-forward four months and Henderson, who endured a difficult start to life in Suffolk, is now far more happy as a Blue.

Much of that is down to the now-settled back four of Richard Stearman, Tommy Smith, Luke Chambers and Aaron Cresswell, who must represent one of the Championship’s most-improved defences.

Previously, Henderson had been involved in the 6-0 defeat at Leicester, the 5-0 reversal at Crystal Palace and the 3-0 home thumping delivered to them by Sheffield Wednesday.

Saturday’s clean sheet was only the fourth for Henderson since being at Portman Road, but the on-loan West Ham stopper believes more could be on their way.

“This was the second game of my second loan spell and I have only had one save to make in two weeks,” said Henderson.

“I will take that every week and the lads have been outstanding, defensively, from the front right back to the back four.

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“At the start of the season we were shipping a lot of in but Mick McCarthy has changed a lot of things and we seem to be a lot more solid.”

During Henderson’s first spell, an unsettled back four saw Smith dropped, while the likes of Richie Wellens and Nigel Reo-Coker were perhaps not fully fit at times, when trying to control the midfield.

Now, with a defence that picks itself, Henderson feels a lot more assured every time he takes to the field.

“I don’t want to jinx us now but we are looking a lot more solid,” he said.

“I feel much more confident with the team that is in front of me than I did when we shipped 11 goals in two games at Leicester and Crystal Palace.

“We look a different team now and are digging out results we would not have had a few months ago.

“Saturday’s win was scrappy and we were delighted.”