Ipswich Town have become the team to beat, says keeper Dean Gerken

Daryl Murphy is mobbed by his team mates after scoring a late winner against Huddersfield

Daryl Murphy is mobbed by his team mates after scoring a late winner against Huddersfield - Credit: Archant

Ipswich Town have made themselves the team to beat in the Championship.

So says goalkeeper Dean Gerken after the Blues moved to within two points of the place-off places thanks to a come-from-behind 2-1 home victory over Huddersfield Town on Saturday.

This is Ipswich’s 12th consecutive season in the second tier, with their 29 points from the opening 19 games having only been bettered in two of those campaigns (Joe Royle’s sides going on to finish fifth and third in 2003/04 and 2004/05 respectively).

Only Derby County (five successive wins) are in better form at present, with the Suffolk side heading to a faltering Nottingham Forest full of confidence on Saturday. “Huddersfield were the team to beat after winning three on the bounce, now we have won three in a row so we are the team to beat,” said Gerken, who saved a first half penalty before David McGoldrick (50) and Daryl Murphy (89) goals overturned Danny Ward’s opener (35).

“Coming from behind and winning just shows the mental strength this team has. It is a massive win and three wins in three puts us right up there near the top six.

“We have hit a real bit of form and have lost only three games in the last 14.”

Town may have dropped 17 points from winning positions this season (the joint-worst record in the division), but their 13 points gained from losing positions is the bettered by none.

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“Maybe we have drawn a couple which we could have won but we are slowly progressing as a group and are a lot more resilient,” said Gerken. “We are a close knit group that really believes we can go places together.

“To be honest, with the teams I have been playing for over the past few years (Bristol City and Colchester) I have not wanted to look at the league table, but at the moment I can’t wait to see the papers.

“It doesn’t count at the moment, we still have more than half the season to go, but I’d like to think we can make the play-offs. At the very least we can be contenders.

“We’re all good mates here and every day we come in and enjoy what we are doing. On a personal level, to be playing regularly again is brilliant. Ipswich have resurrected my career and working with (keeper coach) Malcolm Webster has resurrected my career.”

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