Naylor: 'Team needs to settle'

LIKE his defending Richard Naylor's views tend to be no-nonsense and the club captain accepts this current Ipswich side have a lot to do to live up to expectation.

Derek Davis

LIKE his defending Richard Naylor's views tend to be no-nonsense and the club captain accepts this current Ipswich side have a lot to do to live up to expectation.

Naylor knows current performances and results are nowhere near good enough but from his view point in the heart of the defence the potential to be as good as some of the teams he has played with in the past.

He said: “It's difficult to gauge. There are signs that we could be a good team. But we've still got a bit of a way to go and I don't think we've played the football we can.

“In the cup games we have really knocked the ball around nicely but for whatever reason in the league games we look more nervous.

“We are putting extra pressure on ourselves by not getting the results.”

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With just three points from the four games in August Naylor appreciates supporters are restless but believes that once the team settles and plays together more things will improve.

He said: “There's always expectation. Ipswich Town are a team that should always be in the top six in this division - there's no doubt about that and if we're not then there's something wrong.

“It's a long season. We've got a relatively new side. I've played with a couple of different full-backs already and we haven't got a settled side yet.

“The transfer window closes at midnight so whoever we've got in by then hopefully we can build and have a settled side and really work together so when things do turn against us everyone knows their jobs.”

Naylor does not offer the usual platitude that competition is good and admits the uncertainty can cause upset.

He said: “The speculation is not nice for the lads at the club. When someone comes in, in your position, and I've been around long enough to know that happens, you like to know whether you are going to be part of the plans.

“It's not particularly healthy.”

Nor does he think the international break will be of help, except for things to quieten down a little before Reading visit.

He said: “Gareth (McAuley) is away so it doesn't give us much of a chance to work on things, although it gives us a chance to work on things with the lads that are here to really push on.”

The club's longest serving player missed most of last season with a catalogue of injuries but that might actually work in his favour this year as he has come back fresh and fit.

Although he seems to have been around forever Naylor is still a relatively youthful 31 and determined to make the most of every opportunity.

He said: “I want to play every day. I missed so much of last season and we've got to think about this result for a couple of weeks but that's a pill we've got to swallow.

“I'm enjoying being back and playing. The gaffer has signed a lot of players and more might come but I've got to fight hard to stay in the team.

“I don't really care whether I play well or not - it's the result that's the most important thing.

“People tend to write you off when you've been injured for a while or you get slightly older.

“I'm 31 and I still believe I've got a lot to offer the club. I know I'm going to have to fight hard to stay in the team and that's what I intend to do.”

Town's reversal at Watford was especially hard to bear as Pablo Counago had given them a second minute lead but mistakes handed Watford their victory.

Naylor said: “We were very disappointed at the way the game finished. We had quietened the crowd and almost turned them in the first half.

“We had some good chances and could have been more than one up at the break. In the second half they had to change it and throw everything at us.

“We coped with it for a little while but eventually we just stopped playing and invited the pressure a little bit.

“The parry from Wrighty could have gone anywhere but unfortunately for us it landed straight on the geezer's head.

“But there were things before that. We should not have let him cut inside and get a shot.

“When they upped it, we didn't and that's disappointing.

“We sat off them and they were first to dropping balls - that gave them a lift and encouraged them.

“We gave a goal away from a set piece. Someone switched off and you just can't do that.

“It gave them a lifeline back in the game, which to that point it didn't look like they were going to get.

“We were fairly comfortable but we didn't rise to the challenge in the second half which is the most disappointing thing.”

Naylor made his 354th Town appearance at Watford, making him level 16th with Ray Crawford in the list of all time games for the club. If he plays against Reading he will move alongside Allan Hunter with Colin Viljoen on 372 the next one to overhaul.

He has already equalled Viljoen's league appearances of 305, which is 15th on the all-time list.