Paul Jewell’s dirty dozen defensive disasters
They have the equal worst defence in the Championship.
But Town’s dire defensive record – which has seen the beleaguered Blues ship ten goals in three matches – is nothing new.
Under Paul Jewell, Ipswich have conceded three or more goals a truly staggering 12 times including in three successive Championship matches against Millwall, Doncaster Rovers and on Saturday against Nottingham Forest.
Considering Jewell has only been in charge for 40 competitive matches and with the Town boss bringing in five defenders this season alone, solutions have to be found and improvements made fast.
But recruiting a specialist coach to combat Town’s dire defensive problems is not the answer, insists assistant boss Chris Hutchings.
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“You can say that about strikers, midfielders, defenders – you might as well have 11 individual coaches,” reflected Hutchings. “I don’t say it can’t work but it is whatever the manager feels right and it is up to him what way he wants to go. If we start keeping clean sheets, you don’t ask the question.”
The late collapse against Forest was just the latest in a long line of defensive calamities, going back to Norwich and Swansea last season and Southampton and Peterborough in this campaign.
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And just when it looked like Jewell had found the right formula with three straight shut-outs in September, the problems reared their ugly head once again to derail any hopes of cementing a place in the top six.
Hutchings added: “Successful teams are built on clean sheets and that is what we have to get back to.”
January 25: Arsenal 3 Ipswich 0
March 8: Town 1 Reading 3
March 15: Town 0 Watford 3
April 12: Town 3 Middlesbrough 3
April 21: Town 1 Norwich 5
April 25: Swansea 4 Town 1
May 7: Leicester 4 Town 2
August 16: Town 2 Southampton 5
August 20: Peterborough 7 Town 1
October 29: Millwall 4 Town 1
November 5: Town 2 Doncaster 3
November 19: Forest 3 Town 2