Town will not be playing two up front again

IPSWICH TOWN: Roy Keane’s number two Tony Loughlan has defended the club’s selection policy and revealed that the days of playing two up front are over.

The Blues have been criticised for not being potent enough particularly when Coventry City went away from Portman Road with a 2-1 victory last month.

But Loughlan, who will be sitting beside Keane in the Bramall Lane dug-out when Town play Sheffield United in the npower Championship today (kick-off 3pm) stood by the way the team has been picked.

Loughlan said: “It’s a myth that if you lose at home you should change to playing two up front.

“You don’t see it happening these days – two up front.

“One front man plays off the other and not as a flat strike force.

“What we haven’t always done is to impose ourselves enough particularly at home.

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“We were conscious last season that we were conceding too many goals, and with the emergence of Luke Hyam during the summer we utilised a three-man midfield early in this campaign and it worked well.”

And talking about the likelihood of having four natural central defenders along the back four against the Blades today, Loughlan added:

“We look at Tom Eastman and Tommy Smith as central defenders stroke full backs.

“And I don’t see a problem at right back with Tom, Jamie Peters and Troy Brown doing well in that position.

“We have all seen how good Tom has done, and for man-to-man marking Jaime is as good as anybody in the Championship.”

Loughlan admits that he would like to see more reserve league matches, but said: “We do play a number of high quality behind closed doors games, and the ideal is to reach the Premier League and be eligible to play in their reserve league.”

And Loughlan agrees that Town’s set pieces can be improved, adding: “It is something that we look at after games and something that we put a great of practice into but for some of our games it has not been good enough.”

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