Kennedy gives himself a headache

KEEP talking. That is the plea of Ipswich Town’s bang-in-form left-back, Mark Kennedy.

KEEP talking. That is the plea of Ipswich Town’s bang-in-form left-back, Mark Kennedy.

Town have one of the quietest teams in the Championship, in terms of talking on the pitch, but that doesn’t mean to say that they are “bullied.” Far from it.

Paul Jewell’s men entertain stubborn Portsmouth at Portman Road this afternoon, and once again Kennedy will be urging on his team-mates from his position on the left side of the defence.

It’s no wonder that he has his own voice ringing in his ears, at the end of a match, just as Connor Wickham, who has been playing in a more advanced role down the left, is the recipient of much of the Irishman’s advice.

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“I come off the pitch every game with a headache, and I’m not joking,” insisted Kennedy.

“It’s because I am talking to people, that’s my job. That’s what I am here to do, to help the lads out.

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“I talk to Connor a lot. We are a quiet team, when I look around. At my previous clubs I could reel off seven or eight people who talked on the pitch, but we don’t have those people at the club.

“But I didn’t talk when I was Connor’s age, I just went out and played football. I’ve been so impressed with Jimmy (Bullard) since he’s come in, but he’s not a talker on the pitch either. That’s the way we are,” added Kennedy.

Although Town are not blessed with chatterboxes, they have already proved that they can more than hold their own against all opposition in the Championship, especially since the arrival of new manager Paul Jewell seven weeks ago.

Town have gathered 14 points from eight league games under Jewell, to move into the safety of mid-table.

And while Town don’t have big talkers, they do have a number of born leaders, as Kennedy was quick to emphasise.

“I’m a massive fan of Grant Leadbitter. He’s a great captain, and he reminds me of Joe Ledley (at Cardiff). They lead by example in how they play,” explained Kennedy.

“Gareth McAuley is another one. I think he’s been outstanding this year. He leads by example on what he does on the pitch.

“We did an exercise in training the other week, where we were not allowed to talk. We’ve done that at most clubs I’ve been at, and it’s impossible to do.

“We do it to try and emphasise how difficult it is to try and play without talking. But when you go the other way and you are allowed to talk, some people don’t talk.

“We are a quiet team, but we don’t get bullied or turned over. We’ve got players who can put their foot in, and players who can pass,” added Kennedy.

n See Green ‘Un supplement for full match preview of Ipswich Town v Portsmouth

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