McAuley wants more

TON-up Gareth McAuley celebrated his landmark game with the winner at Bramall Lane, to propel Ipswich Town back into the top six, and at the expense of deadly rivals Norwich.

TON-up Gareth McAuley celebrated his landmark game with the winner at Bramall Lane, to propel Ipswich Town back into the top six, and at the expense of deadly rivals Norwich.

Roy Keane’s men have displaced the Canaries in the play-off zone, thanks to their 2-1 win at Sheffield United and City snatching just a point in a 2-2 draw with Burnley.

But McAuley, who hooked home the 40th minute winner, on what was his 100th appearance for Ipswich, is promising more to come over the weeks and months ahead.

“We’re on a run, and we want to keep it going,” enthused McAuley.

“Hopefully, we can maintain this momentum because we want to stick in behind the top two.

“It was nice to get the win, in my 100th game.

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“It’s the first time that I have managed to make 100 appearances for a club. It would be great to keep that going and perhaps even double it up,” added McAuley, who played 84 senior games for both of his previous two clubs, Lincoln City and Leicester City.

Town enjoyed the perfect start in South Yorkshire, thanks to Tamas Priskin’s fifth goal of the season after just five minutes.

The struggling Blades, who have now lost four games on the bounce, did level through Stephen Quinn’s 29th minute equaliser, only for centre-half McAuley, an unlikely match-winner, to tuck home a cross by Grant Leadbitter from six yards out. It was his first league goal of the campaign .

First and foremost a defender, McAuley was understandably disappointed with his scuffed clearance than enabled Quinn to score the equaliser, but that failed to spoil his big day.

McAuley explained: “I was disappointed that I didn’t clear the ball well enough for their goal, but all in all I’m taking the positives from today.

“Sheffield United is never an easy place to go, especially when they are on the back of a few defeats, so it was important that we came out fighting.

“We had to dig deep in the second half, but the lads stood up to it well for a great three points.

“I thought, as a back four, that we kept it solid and we kept it tight,” added McAuley.

Town have now won their last three games, after losing the previous three, to put their season back on track.

They entertain Derby County tomorrow evening, with David Norris, Tom Eastman and Grant Leadbitter all struggling with injuries.

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