Walton on defensive consistency which has helped build Town's solid foundations

Christian Walton, Janoi Donacien, Luke Woolfenden and George Edmundson are consistent performers for Ipswich Town

Christian Walton, Janoi Donacien, Luke Woolfenden and George Edmundson are consistent performers for Ipswich Town - Credit: Pagepix

Christian Walton believes consistency at the back is key as the Blues’ solid defence continues to stand firm. 

Saturday’s 0-0 draw at MK Dons was Town’s third-successive clean sheet and their sixth in nine matches since Kieran McKenna took over as manager. 

Janoi Donacien, Luke Woolfenden and George Edmundson have started all nine of those matches as a central defensive trio, with Walton joining them for the last eight of them after missing McKenna’s first game in charge having tested positive for Covid. 

And it’s that consistency in selection which Walton believes is the basis for the Blues’ solid foundations. 

Christian Walton with a second half save from Owen Twines free-kick at MK Dons.

Walton makes a late save to deny Scott Twine at MK Dons - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

“It’s really positive to have some consistency and to see the same faces in front of me every week,” Walton said. 

“It’s the consistency knowing your partner on the pitch, knowing each other’s strengths, working with each other on a day-to-day basis and preparing through the week knowing that’s going to be the back four or back five. 

“Consistency is massive but you’re only a minute away from an injury or someone being sent off, so the strength in depth we have is good as well. Cam Burgess hasn’t played a minute under this manager yet but is raring to go and has been training unbelievably well. 

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“It’s nice to see the same faces in front of me, but the squad depth we’ve got is really good so anyone that comes into the team I think we’ll be settled with and it’s really positive. 

“So if anyone’s injured or out we can support that. That’s really positive.” 

Christian Walton applauds the Town fans who made the trip to MK Dons.

Christian Walton says defensive consistency has been key to Blues - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Town’s defensive effort starts from the front, when the Ipswich strikers press in a bid to win possession back, while wide players Wes Burns and new signing Dominic Thompson also have their own roles to play. 

“They’re all part of the defensive unit now, Wes has joined the crew,” Walton joked.  

“He’s done really well and Dom’s settled in quickly. 

“It’s not easy coming in in January to a new team but he’s done really well and he’s obviously had Premier League experience this year, so for us to get a player like that in and around the team is really good for the club and for ourselves as a team.” 

George Edmundson at MK Dons.

George Edmundson applauds the large travelling support following Ipswich Town's 0-0 draw at MK Dons last weekend. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Saturday’s draw moved Town a point closer to the play-off places, with the gap now just five points with 14 matches remaining. 

“Definitely,” Walton insisted, when asked if the squad believe they can make the top six. 

“As soon as I signed at the club in the summer, I think that was where we wanted to be. 

“Obviously it was a bit of a sticky patch, certain parts of the season, but since the new manager’s come in he’s instilled that belief in everyone and we’re setting up the right way and we’re trying to win games of football. We’re keeping clean sheets too and that’s obviously going to help that. 

“Everyone’s belief now is top six and I think if we concentrate on ourselves and win as many games as possible, I think there’s no reason we can’t be in and around it come April 30 (final day of the season). 

MK Dons long ball specialist Owen Twine gives the Ipswich fans a nervous moment with a late free-kic

MK Dons long ball specialist Owen Twine gives the Ipswich fans a nervous moment with a late free-kick. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

"We’ve got games coming up now that are big games for us (Burton and Cheltenham at home).  

“To keep a good, winning record at Portman Road will be key for us as well as doing well on the road. 

It’s now nearly a month since Walton joined the Blues full-time, following a successful loan spell, with the goalkeeper pleased to now be able to put down roots after eight loans away from former club Brighton. 

“Weirdly it’s actually a different feeling because I’ve always been on loan. I’ve never actually experienced being settled somewhere,” he said. 

“I was settled as a loan player just because of the support I had from fans, people around the club and people around the town. It was really good, and that was one of the reasons why I wanted to sign and make it a permanent deal. 

“But I feel more settled and I want to be part of something and want to be part of success. That’s why I signed at a massive club like this and it just goes to show with the support that we get. It’s an unbelievable place to be for anyone that wants to develop as a player. 

“I still see myself as a younger player and I just want to develop under this manager, and I think everyone else does too. 

“I think we’re going on a positive way here and I think it’s clear for everyone to see that we are trying to bring that success back to the club and everyone’s on the same page, so hopefully we can produce that.”