‘We must become more consistent’ - McAuley

GARETH McAuley is looking to keep things tight when Ipswich Town travel to Elland Road to play Leeds United in an npower Championship fixture today (kick-off 3pm).

Town will be looking to get back on track after a poor display that saw them beaten 3-1 at home by Reading on Tuesday.

And experienced central defender McAuley knows what to expect from a Leeds side that can score goals for fun.

“We need to stick to our shape,” said McAuley.

“It would not be to our benefit to be involved in an end to end battle.

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“The game plan will be to keep things tight as Leeds score a lot of goals.

“But they can concede as well and we must be up for the task in hand.”

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McAuley wants to see the Blues become more consistent, which is a failing that dogged Roy Keane’s term as Ipswich manager.

When Paul Jewell took over in January a run of six league games without defeat gave rise to thoughts of better times ahead, but with just one win in their last four matches Town are in danger of slipping back into their old ways.

“Our inconsistencies are creeping back in and it is something that we must look to move on from,” added McAuley.

“If we are going to move on and to progress as we are capable of then we must keep to the same levels and not keep slipping back to the form we showed against Reading when they fully deserved their victory.

“We must learn how to pick up points from most games if we can and limit the number of defeats.

“To win one game and then lose the next is not good enough and we are better than that, and it is time that we pushed on.

“But nothing is terminal by any means and we must try and be positive for the remaining games this season.

“We must go in hard looking for points and see where that takes us.”

McAuley will be after a similar gritty display to one the side produced at Cardiff in last Saturday’s 2-0 win.

“We had to dig in at Cardiff after starting terribly and after being spoken to at half-time we improved with Jimmy Bullard scoring two good goals.

“The confidence we built up from that success we took into the Reading game, but we could not step up to the mark.

“We had to take that on the chin and now look to beat Leeds although it will not be easy.”

CAN you see Ipswich gaining consistent results under Paul Jewell? Have your say e-mail starsport@eveningstar.co.uk.

Today’s likely squads

Leeds United: Schmeichel, O’Brien, Lichaj, McCartney, Bromby, Kilkenny, Bannan, Johnson, Howson, Gradel, Paynter, Becchio, Snodgrass, Naylor, Higgs, Bruce, Watt, Somma, McCormack

Ipswich Town: Fulop, Lee-Barrett, Edwards, McAuley, Delaney, O’Dea, Smith, O’Connor, Martin, Leadbitter, Drury, Bullard, Wickham, Scotland, Priskin, Hyam, Civelli, Peters, Brown, Healy, Dyer.

Referee: Mr D Deadman (Cambridgeshire).

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