McAuley: We gave the game away

IPSWICH Town skipper Gareth McAuley today admitted that victory was handed to Coventry on a plate at the Ricoh Arena yesterday.

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town skipper Gareth McAuley today admitted that victory was handed to Coventry on a plate at the Ricoh Arena yesterday.

The Blues lost their opening Coca-Cola Championship game of the season 2-1 after two-goal Clinton Morrison took advantage of defensives lapses before Jon Walters pulled back a goal for the visitors.

“We handed them two goals and handed them the points. They were a couple of soft, sloppy goals,” said McAuley, who left straight after the match for Northern Ireland for the midweek international against Israel.

“It's not acceptable and we've got to make sure it doesn't happen again.

“The mood in the dressing room was one of great disappointment afterwards. There could be players coming in over the next few weeks but we had enough in the team yesterday to have won.

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“And there is enough quality in the current squad to keep clean sheets.”

Despite losing their first game in a season with anticipation levels are so high following the appointment of Roy Keane as manager, McAuley is still predicting a memorable campaign.

He added: “There's a great belief in the dressing room and we've got to keep going. We will definitely improve on last season.

“The games come thick and fast now, including one against my old side, Leicester, at Portman Road next Saturday.”

Ipswich were much the better side after the interval and went close to an equaliser on a number of occasions in a game that had bags of energy and gave good entertainment for armchair Sky TV viewers yesterday afternoon.

A couple of decisions by the referee's assistants did not go the Blues' way and supporters' thirst for success should not be diminished by this early setback.

“There were still positives, and we caused them a few problems,” said McAuley.

“We were still strong at the end and deserved at least a draw. I should have scored from one set-piece but didn't, which was disappointing.”