Wright spares Town further punishment

LET'S start with the positives.Richard Wright, oh, and Jack Colback the lad they call 'Scholesy' and not just because of the colour of his hair.

Derek Davis

LET'S start with the positives.

Richard Wright, oh, and Jack Colback the lad they call 'Scholesy' and not just because of the colour of his hair.

Wright, at 31, showed why he should still be considered for England even if he is not yet playing back in the Premier League.

He made a string of outstanding saves to keep the score almost respectable and denied West Brom from getting the five they needed to go top of the fledgling table.

Wright saved a penalty from Luke Moore, although he had help from Alex Bruce in dealing with the follow up, but also pulled off a string of classy saves to deny Moore, Chris Wood, Marek Cech and Chris Brunt, I may have missed someone out, there were so many.

Most Read

Although still busy in the second half Wright had a bit less to do thanks in the main to the arrival at half-time of Colback who replaced Owen Garvan and got to grips with the midfield.

He broke up play and proved a menace around the Albion box getting forward and linking play.

The on-loan player from Sunderland has staked a claim for tomorrow at Peterborough and at home against Preston on Saturday but to be brutally honest he is not facing much competition at the moment.

It seems no matter what manager Roy Keane tries he can not get his team going. The midfield went missing in a first half that was embarrassingly lop-sided.

While West Brom had a dozen chances Town's only effort fell to Connor Wickham who had been put though by Lee Martin, but his tame shot summed up the Blues' timid approach.

While he would have enjoyed his afternoon's work, there was not much Wright could have done about the Baggies goals.

The first came after Jonas Olsson's header from a Chris Brunt corner was cleared off the line by David Wright.

Jon Stead lashed it out of the box but straight to Youssouf Mulumbu and as the Town played were sprinting out of their goal area he struck a powerful low drive from 25 yards back through them past an unsighted Wright.

That was after just 10 minutes and Town had already been wobbling.

Tommy Smith, one of four players brought in by Keane after Tuesday's defeat by Palace, was given a torrid time at left back by right winger Brunt, who had got past him with ease to deliver a far post ball for Robert Koren, whose header was pushed away by a scrambling Wright.

Keane had been decisive in dropping his skipper Gareth McAuley, putting Alex Bruce in at centre half and handing him the captaincy. He dropped Tamas Priskin, Colin Healy and Damien Delaney, three of his buys that have not performed for him as yet.

Yet it did not work.

When Albion got their second seven minutes before half time you feared a real hammering was on the cards.

The manner in which Koren was allowed to move on to a ball by Moore and waltz through the middle of the defence was alarming.

Even if his interplay with 17-year-old Wood was excellent and his finish to take the ball around Wright and dink it over his head, superb, Town's midfield and back line really should have done better.

Their propensity to give goals away cheaply, and so early in games, is genuine cause for concern and it has probably as much to do with the lack of character being shown so far and lack of ability and quality.

The half-time rollicking and changes brought about a decent reaction but it still needed Wright to save them time and again, while Alan Quinn had a good shot saved by Scott Carson and Liam Trotter's follow up was blocked.

Smith gave away a needless penalty when he brought down Shaun Cummings who never really looked as if he was going anywhere.

After a delay Moore shot his spot kick down the middle and Wright managed to get a toe on it and Bruce cleared as the follow up was nodded back toward goal.

Jon Walters continued to try and Priskin went on for the tiring Connor Wickham but added little of note and the mountain was too high for Town to climb.

Martin, the �1.5m buy from Manchester United, is probably the only Keane signing so far that has done himself any justice but even he was not having the best of days.

As he went to take a corner he kicked the flag instead - funny if you are two-up but no one from Ipswich was laughing.