'I think the pressure helped us' - Match-winner McGuinness on Town's Burton win
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Defender Mark McGuinness believes Ipswich Town used the pressure on their shoulders to their advantage as they won 1-0 at Burton.
The Arsenal loanee’s first professional goal proved the difference at the Pirelli Stadium as Town squeezed past League One’s bottom side, after last weekend’s loss to 23rd-placed Swindon heaped further pressure on manager Paul Lambert and his players.
But McGuinness believes he and his team-mates channelled the scrutiny in a positive way, using it to ensure they were sharp heading into a big game.
“It was massive,” he said of the win. “To get back to winning ways was great but we need to keep that going.
“For team morale and everything it was a great win. We had a little bit of pressure on us but I think that helped us because we trained really well, knew we had to go out and give 100%. We were feeling confident and I think the pressure helped us there.
“Any game where we get a clean sheet, I enjoy. We had to match their style, which we did.
“For any centre half to get a clean sheet is a great moment. That’s the job we’re in the team to do and we hadn’t had once since Oxford (December 1, four games). I pride myself on clean sheets and that’s a great feeling.”
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McGuinness’s winner came on 73 minutes as he rose highest inside the box to head Alan Judge’s cross home, much to the relief of all those in blue.
It’s a goal the 20-year-old has been waiting for for some time, with the youngster targeting more between now and the end of the season.
“I’ve been waiting for a goal like that because I’ve been saying to people I should be scoring five or six a season, so it’s been a long time coming,” he said.
“That can still happen though and, now I’ve scored one, I have the confidence to go and score a few.
“I need to start chipping in but that goal alongside the clean sheet made me really happy.”
As important as the loanee’s goal was captain Luke Chambers’ first-half block, as he turned Charles Vernam’s shot away just before the break.
“That was a massive moment so great credit to him for that,” McGuinness said.
“It would have been a huge blow, to concede just before half-time, because we’d defended really well before then. We got a bit of luck there as well as great skill from the skipper.”