McAuley insists he never wanted to leave

IPSWICH Town central defender Gareth McAuley today insisted that he never wanted to leave Portman Road.And the former skipper, who has his 30th birthday on Saturday, warned of the dangers of the Blues being cast adrift at the foot of the Championship table.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town central defender Gareth McAuley today insisted that he never wanted to leave Portman Road.

And the former skipper, who has his 30th birthday on Saturday, warned of the dangers of the Blues being cast adrift at the foot of the Championship table.

“I was relegated with Leicester and I don't want to experience that sickening feeling again,” he said. “Now we must look to build on Sunday's win at Cardiff and our unbeaten seven-match run.”


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McAuley lost the captaincy and his place in the team in August.

During an international break with Northern Ireland in early September he revealed that his agent had told him that he had been advised by Town owner Marcus Evans to show interest if another club 'came knocking.'

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“That is all behind me now,” said McAuley “I'm happy here and want to kick-on with my football.

“A move may have looked in the balance three months ago but I would not have welcomed it.

“We have a stronger squad than when I first arrived in the summer of 2008.

“I discovered later that it appeared a different picture was coming through than what was actually happening. That's football, and how it works.”

McAuley has endured the bitter taste of relegation from the Championship with Leicester City in 2008 and he wants to ensure it doesn't happen again.

And he feels being in their current position will help Ipswich get out of trouble.

“We are in a scrap, there is no doubt about that,” added McAuley. “And we can't afford to be cast adrift.

“With Leicester we were always above the relegation places, and then got sucked in at the end of the season.

“Perhaps there were one or two people there not doing quite enough.

“This will never happen at Ipswich where we know we need results week-in, week-out. We know we have to do it.

“We are all pulling in the right direction with no one doing their own thing.”

McAuley has welcomed the arrival of coach Ian McParland with the ex-Notts County manager coming onboard last Friday.

He started his first game for a month on Sunday after recovering from a thigh strain and then being kept out by Alex Bruce.

“Having a new coach will freshen things up, and provide a different opinion and a new set of eyes.

“He's a very experienced man, and he will be someone to bounce ideas off. He should help to improve me and the whole team with individual sessions.

“We must keep improving. I don't think things have necessarily gone wrong this season; we've just not been winning games. This is why the Cardiff three points were so important.

“We have to keep asking us the question - 'can we do more in games?' Ten draws is far too many, we know that.”

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