Ipswich Town’s Aaron Cresswell reaches appearance milestone

Aaron Cresswell

Aaron Cresswell - Credit: Andy Abbotty

Sheffield Weds v Ipswich: Aaron Cresswell’s stunning strike in the 3-0 victory against Crystal Palace on Tuesday capped off a special night for the 23-year-old.

The former Tranmere defender not only raised the roof at Portman Road with his offering for the club’s ‘Goal of the Season’ award, but also celebrated a significant milestone in his fledgling career.

A relative newcomer to the game, the clash with the Eagles marked his 150th league start, not bad for a player that only made his senior bow in 2008.

The initial £240,000 then-Town boss Paul Jewell shelled out for the Liverpudlian, represents a snip now, with the left-back having become a permanent fixture in the team, playing every minute of every league and cup game this season, the only player at the club to do so.

He won the ‘Player of the Season’ award in his first season at the club and while he suffered a dip in form at the start of this campaign, the young defender has since recovered to become a part of the furniture in Mick McCarthy’s stingy rearguard.

Cresswell was not aware that he had joined the ‘150 club’ and admitted things had gone better than he had expected.

“I didn’t realise I had reached 150 games, so I think it’s a good achievement at the age of 23,” he said.

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“At a young age it’s easier to recover whereas, as you get older, it gets harder.

“My first game for the club was at Bristol City and had someone told me back then that I would play nearly every game in my first season and be an ever-present this time, I would have taken it.

“I saw it as a challenge to get into the team when I signed for the club and since my debut I have not looked back.

“I take one game at a time but if I can learn something from every game that will help.”

Cresswell must be in with a shout of winning a second successive ‘Player of the Year’ gong, not only for his defending since McCarthy’s arrival, but also for his penchant to grab spectacular goals.

The defender, who has four strikes to his name this campaign, has his own thoughts on the award though.

“There are a few contenders, maybe Tommy Smith or Luke Chambers,” he said.

“We work hard in training as a defence with the manager and Terry Connor and we have built a good base for the future.”

Manager McCarthy has hailed Cresswell’s impact this season and said the defender had all the attributes to make the top.

“He’s been outstanding,” said the Blues boss.

“He’s a Premier League footballer in the making. He’s got good pace, he’s got a good left foot. He can defend, he can head it. He’s not the biggest but he’s a good competitor.

“We looked at him with Wolves. He’s been everything I could have hoped for.”