Skipper in bullish mood ahead of season

BLUES skipper Jason De Vos is bullish about Ipswich Town's prospects this season after seeing an all-round improvement in his team.The three new signings have blended in easily and the Canadian is confident Town can stem the flow of goals against them this campaign while still scoring plenty.

By Derek Davis

BLUES skipper Jason De Vos is bullish about Ipswich Town's prospects this season after seeing an all-round improvement in his team.

The three new signings have blended in easily and the Canadian is confident Town can stem the flow of goals against them this campaign while still scoring plenty.

He said: “The gaffer's philosophy has not changed and he still wants us to play attractive, attacking football but the other side is we are making a conscious effort to be stronger defensively as a team.

“That starts with the front men and I thought Alan and Pablo against Antwerp worked very hard to close people down and the shape in midfield was very good.

“That is something we have worked on in training, keeping the two banks of four and keeping a solid unit.

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“If we get stretched then that allows teams to play through you so we are working to keep our shape and making it difficult for teams to break us down.”

De Vos is happy with how pre-season has gone and is relishing taking on Greek side Panathinaikos on Sunday after getting a draw at Antwerp earlier this week.

He said: “Tuesday's game was a good exercise for us and we had enough chances to win two or three games.

“We looked solid and well-organised and dangerous so the encouraging thing is we are making chances.

“We are building up nicely towards the opening game. We have a big game on Sunday against Panathinaikos, which will be a big test for us as they are a very good side.

“They are regularly in the Champions' League and will give us a good measure of where we are at.

“Hopefully we can come through that with flying colours.

“Sheffield Wednesday is the one we are looking to now and we are looking forward to the challenge.”

De Vos had been substituted when Town conceded against the Belgian second division side before Gary Roberts hit an equaliser.

De Vos said: “Antwerp had some tidy players who were comfortable on the ball but they never really hurt us.

“The goal was unfortunate with Alex carrying an injury at the time, which probably contributed.

“We have enough talent in the team to score goals so that side takes care of itself.”

The skipper joked that the defenders should be worried about their places with keeper Shane Supple going on as an emergency left-back when Alex Bruce got injured and Town had already used up all their substitutes.

He laughed: “Dan should be worried. Supps was superb playing that pass down the channels for the front men to run on to.”

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