'What a fantastic debut' - Evans praises Clements after first league start

Bailey Clements applauds fans after the 0-0 draw against Oxford United.

Bailey Clements applauds fans after the 0-0 draw against Oxford United. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

Ipswich Town midfielder Lee Evans hailed Bailey Clements’ ‘fantastic’ league debut in the Blues’ 0-0 draw with Oxford. 

The youngster was a surprise inclusion at left-back but, despite having never previously played a league match in the professional game, was one of the Blues’ top performers as he contributed well at both ends of the pitch. 

“Bailey at left-back was superb, what a fantastic debut,” said Evans, who captained Town in the first month of the season. 

“He kept a very good player (Mark Sykes) quiet and got forward to do his work in the final third. 

Bailey Clements in action against Oxford.

Bailey Clements in action against Oxford. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

“He trained a lot with us in pre-season and he’s a really fit boy, so we knew he could get up-and-down the flank. 

“He looked good on Tuesday against Colchester when he came on and he took that into this game and did really well. 

“It’s always nice to see a young player come in and do well. You like to see that happen. We have Hayden (Coulson), Matt Penney and now Bailey as well so we’ve got real competition all over the pitch.” 

Most Read

Evans knows that competition extends to his position, the centre of midfield, even though he and partner Sam Morsy have started every league game in which they have been available as a pair. 

“We know there’s competition there and you have to play well to stay in team, we know that,” he said. 

Lee Evans drives in the ball.

Lee Evans drives in the ball. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

“Scotty (Fraser) played well in midweek and is a really good footballer. He likes to play a lot more attacking than in the holding role, but he showed against Colchester he can play there too, 

“Reks (Rekeem Harper), Tom Carroll, Iddy (Idris El Mizouni) are all in there so we have to play well to stay in the team.” 

On his side’s goalless draw with Oxford, Evans added: “It was a pretty even game in the first half, although Oxford were probably the better team. 

“They pushed us back a bit without creating too many chances, but I thought we grew into the game. The way we came out in the second half was really positive and we had them penned back for long spells without being able to find that bit of quality. 

“We’re going in the right direction, it’s another game unbeaten and though we’d have liked to have taken three points we’ll take the one and move on.” 

The Welshman did admit, though, that the regular stoppages as Oxford played out time to secure a draw made it difficult for the hosts to find their rhythm.  

“There was (a lot of stoppages) and that probably came from us being on top for the first 20 minutes of the second half,” he said. 

“They were happy with their point and did whatever they needed in order to take that point. 

“You don’t blame them. It’s a big place to come and play and they have their point and are happy.” 

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter