'I don't have a say on that' - Walton on potential recall and Barrow defeat

Grim faced John Christian Walton makes his way to the dressing room at Barrow after a poor first hal

Grim faced John Christian Walton makes his way to the dressing room at Barrow after a poor first half showing in the FA Cup. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Ipswich Town goalkeeper Christian Walton says it's time the club's players started taking some responsibility for their poor performances.

The Blues' frustratingly inconsistent campaign hit a new low last night as a much-changed side lost 2-0 at lowly League Two side Barrow to crash out of the FA Cup.

Paul Cook was sacked little under a fortnight ago, with John McGreal having been interim manager for the last three games as chief executive Mark Ashton conducts an 'extensive search' for the club's next permanent boss. 

"We can make as many excuses as we want - the pitch, the conditions, the travel, whatever - but at the end of the day we need to turn up for a game of football and we need to be at it right from the first whistle," said Walton.

"Tonight we weren't at the races and we got beaten by the better team on the night.

"I just think we lost second balls, we weren't challenging, we weren't up for the fight - and when you're not up for the fight it's a long old evening. Second half we got the ball forward and gave it a bit of a go, but it's easy to do that when you are 2-0 down. We obviously need to be better.

"Managers take the brunt of it, but at the end of the day it's down to us as players. We have to take responsibility. Myself, everyone at the club has to take responsibility for their roles and jobs within the team. Moving forwards we need to put things right."

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Town's players had a clear the air chat in the dressing room following the recent 2-0 loss at Charlton. Asked if more words had been exchanged last night, Walton said: "I think it's about not saying too much at this point. Everyone knows what's wrong and what they need to do better. There's no point in getting personal.

"It's just about making sure you do your job and work hard for your team-mates. I don't think there are any secrets - it's literally attitude and application towards the game."

On McGreal, Walton said: "I can't speak highly enough of him. He's been brilliant. It's not easy coming in after three days at the club, or whatever it was. He's tried his best, really put the hours in and done everything he can. Obviously we have let him down with the results."

On a season-long loan from Brighton, Walton has been one of Town's best performers in recent weeks. There was national speculation this week that he could be recalled by his parent club and sold during the January transfer window.

"I think that sort of thing is left to the clubs' hierarchies," said the 26-year-old. "I don't really have a say on that and don't really know my situation. All I know is I'm playing for Ipswich Town and I'm really enjoying my football here.

"It's a massive football club. I think any players in the divisions would want to come and play for Ipswich. We have seen how many players have stepped down a division to come here. You can obviously see from the support how good the club is.

"I think my form has been good. I don't need to be talking about that after a 2-0 defeat at Barrow though. I'll just keep doing as much as I can within games and hopefully that has a knock-on effect throughout the team.

"I'll just keep applying myself for Ipswich Town because it's a great club to be playing for. I love playing for this club." 

Christian Walton is beaten for the second goal at Barrow.

Christian Walton is beaten for the second goal at Barrow. - Credit: Pagepix Ltd

Town now move on to a big League One home clash against Sunderland on Saturday - a ticket offer meaning Portman Road will be close to its 30,000 capacity.

"It will be brilliant to have such a big crowd - we've got to rise to the occasion," said Walton. "Everyone knows we were the better team up there, but we lost (2-0) and that's gone now. This is going to be another big test because they are on a good run of form again and they have good players."

Town are now out of all three cup competitions and sit 12th in the League One table, nine points adrift of the play-off places, with 24 games left to play.

Asked if he felt the Blues could turn this season around, Walton said: "Yeah, all it takes is a run of games. Personal and team performances have got to be spot on, but we can definitely turn it around. Look at Bolton last year in League Two, they were right down there at Christmas and ended up getting promoted. Everyone knows you can turn things around in this division."

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