'It's easy to blame the manager... but we're the ones on the pitch' - McGuinness on Town's poor form
- Credit: Steve Waller
Ipswich Town defender Mark McGuinness says it's too easy to blame manager Paul Lambert for the recent downturn in form and insists it's up to the players to perform on the pitch.
The Blues slipped to sixth in a congested League One table following Saturday's comprehensive 2-0 home loss to Portsmouth.
Town have now claimed just 13 points from their last 11 league games, with under-fire boss Lambert having twice received public votes of confidence from owner Marcus Evans.
A significant number of the 2,000 fans back inside Portman Road booed at the half-time and full-time whistle on Saturday.
"It was fantastic to have them back in the stadium, but at the end of the day we're not playing great football at the moment," admitted 19-year-old Arsenal loanee McGuinness.
"I think we need to improve our performance and give the crowd something to cheer about."
He continued: "There's not a particular aspect I can put my finger on and say 'this is going wrong'. We beat Plymouth, drew at Oxford, so we had an okay run, then these games come along.
"I think it's easy for the fans and everyone to blame the manager, but at the end of the day it's up to us. We're performing out on the pitch. We need to improve, train well and go again.
"I don't think this is a time to point fingers of blame. I think everyone needs to stick together. It's not the worst thing that's happening. We're still there. It's a long season."
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Town host lowly Burton tomorrow night before going to fourth-place Peterborough on Saturday.
The Brewers are bottom of the table but unbeaten in four, a win against Charlton followed up by 1-1 draws against Sunderland, Crewe and MK Dons.
"It's vital to beat those top teams, but as important to beat the teams lower down in the table as well," said McGuinness.
"There is no pushover team. Everyone has got their own style of play that works for them.
"Yes, Burton are a team that, on paper, we should beat. And we definitely have the quality to go and beat them. We just have to play our own game and go and beat them.
"We definitely need a win. It's not going to come easy, but three points is vital."
Reflecting on Saturday's loss to Portsmouth, McGuinness said: "I've had a look at the game. I always like to analyse the game straight after. As a whole we didn't play well, we let them get the better of us physically.
"It was a very disappointing result considering they are a team that were one point below us in the table and are going to contend for the title as well. So that just makes it even that slight bit worse.
"No matter what I always go away and look at myself and my performance. I get coaches to do that too. It's for me to get better and improve, but also to get the game out the way so I can move on to the next game."
On his loan spell in general, he said: "It's been difficult. This league was never going to be a pushover. Every team is different and every team is hard. There's the relentless of Saturday-Tuesday, Saturday-Tuesday. But I'm really enjoying the battles and the experience.
"Every game I'm learning, every game I'm developing. I've played 10 games now and hopefully, by the end of the season, I'll have doubled that and doubled my experience.
"As soon as the game is uploaded I'm straight on and watching it. I like to get my head around what's happened. If you don't do too well I like to see what's gone wrong in my performance. I'm very critical of myself.
"I always have targets I set myself going into the next game. Hopefully I tick them off."
He added: "It was never going to be a straight road of winning every game easy. That was not what I expected.
"Pressure is all part and parcel of the experience. This is real life. You play for the three points. Thee's no excuses for development or playing styles or anything like that. At the end of the day we need the three points. There's no room for errors."