Scott Loach: ‘I’ve got nothing to prove’

NUMBER ONE: Scott Loach

NUMBER ONE: Scott Loach - Credit: Archant

SCOTT Loach will finish the season as Ipswich Town’s keeper – and the boyhood Blue is keen on cementing that position heading into the summer.

When West Ham recalled Stephen Henderson from his loan spell last week, there was speculation as to whether Blues boss Mick McCarthy would bring in another custodian prior to the ‘emergency’ loan window closing at 5pm today.

Instead, free agent Jason Brown has been signed on a short-term deal to act as back-up. McCarthy has decided to put faith in Loach for the final eight matches as the Blues – four points above the Championship drop zone – continue to battle against relegation, starting with Saturday’s visit of Leeds United.

“I’m absolutely ready to take my chance,” the 24-year-old, told Ipswich Player. “The reason I joined the club in the summer was to come here to be the No. 1. Obviously it hasn’t quite worked out that way and the previous gaffer (Paul Jewell) wanted to bring in Hendo and I had to work hard to get my place back.

“I managed to do that at the turn of the year and I was pleased with my performances, but unfortunately I picked up a knock and that allowed Hendo to come back in. There were no hard feelings because Hendo has been great to work with, but now I’m champing at the bit to get back in.

“I don’t feel like I have anything to prove because people know what I’m all about. I just want to do my best for Ipswich Town and show people why I’ve got that No. 1 on the back of my jersey.”

Signed from Watford for £150,000 last summer, Loach – who grew up a passionate supporter of the club – started the first 12 games of the season, conceding 22 goals, before he was dropped following two high profile errors in the 2-1 home defeat to Cardiff.

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Henderson was duly brought in on loan from the Hammers and, after that three-month spell expired, Loach made a highly-successful return between the sticks at the start of the New Year.

Man of the match in the 2-1 FA Cup defeat at Aston Villa, he then became the first custodian to keep a clean sheet at Cardiff in 14 matches when Town secured a goalless draw at the table-toppers. Blameless in the 1-1 draw against Barnsley and 2-1 defeat at Bristol City, he looked set for a lengthy run in the side following a 4-0 home win over Middlesbrough – despite the fact that Henderson had returned for a second loan spell just two days earlier.

A sprained thumb suffered in training saw Loach drop out the side yet again though and Henderson’s top-form has kept him out ever since, with just four goals conceded in the last eight matches.

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