We're not giving up - McAuley

IPSWICH TOWN: Defensive lynchpin Gareth McAuley today gave notice to rival Championship clubs that the Blues are still in the hunt for a play-off place.

Elvin King

IPSWICH TOWN: Defensive lynchpin Gareth McAuley today gave notice to rival Championship clubs that the Blues are still in the hunt for a play-off place.

This might sound a hollow hope for a club in 17th position when taking into account the imminent deduction of 10 points for Crystal Palace following the London club going into administration.

With 29 points from 26 games, Ipswich need another 40 from 20 remaining matches to be in serious consideration for a top six finish.


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But McAuley says it can happen - and it will be achieved in stages.

“The season is far from over,” said McAuley despite Town going out of the FA Cup at Southampton last weekend and their recent home winning run coming to an end on Tuesday with a 1-1 draw against West Brom.

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“We have set ourselves targets and winning so many points in a set number of games.

“If we can aspire to this - and we'll be driving each other on - then we can then target where we will finish the season.

“As long as the targets are ticked off successful we can drive up the table.

“It is still possible to qualify for the play-offs, and we have enough home games left. But we need to start winning on the road.”

McAuley admits that Saturday's game at Preston is vital to keep the current mini-target within reach.

“It's massive for us,” the Northern Ireland international added.

“But after doing well enough to lead a quality side like West Brom until the 93rd minute we'll be travelling north full of confidence.”

McAuley is certain that the character showed on Tuesday will hold them in good stead, and will be enough to keep the season alive for Town fans.

“On effort alone we deserved three points against West Brom,” he went on.

“We really had to dig in against a side that beat us in a canter at their place in August.

“This showed how far we have come since then, but you still don't get used to conceding late goals. It was bitterly disappointing again.

“And to make it harder to take it was a scruffy goal. But when all is said and done it was a good point and we proved equal to a quality side that did not lump the ball about and just kept bringing on fresh strikers.”

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