Wright through the slump in form

RICHARD Wright has revealed how self-belief, the backing of manager Jim Magilton and goalkeeping coach James Hollman pressing the right buttons, has helped him come through a slump in form.

Derek Davis

By Derek Davis

RICHARD Wright has revealed how self-belief, the backing of manager Jim Magilton and goalkeeping coach James Hollman pressing the right buttons, has helped him come through a slump in form.

The Blues keeper came under fire following a series of costly errors with Shane Supple coming close to dislodging him from the number one spot.

But Wright battled through and has been instrumental in helping Ipswich to a six game unbeaten run, which includes some vital early game saves that have provided a platform for Town to go on and win against Plymouth and latterly a clean sheet against QPR.

The former England keeper took a philosophical approach and met the torment head on.

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He said: “It was just about believing in yourself. I never doubted myself. In anyone's life you have ups and downs. For myself coming back I was desperate to do well and perhaps trying too hard didn't help.

“I believe in my ability and I have just been working as hard as I can. The main thing was to be pout there playing week in and week out and there was no way I was going to hide.

“I wanted to be out there involved and being in the thick of it. The only way to put it right was by out there on the football pitch.”

Although Magilton toyed with the idea of dropping Wright and bringing in Shane Supple a heart to heart convinced the manager to stand by his man bought from West Ham for around £500,000.

Wright told the EADT: “We had a chat and he asked me what I felt and I said I was trying too hard and he said 'look, I'm going to back you' and that was exactly what I needed.”

The ex Arsenal, Everton and West Ham stopper also has the full support of Town's goalkeeping coach James Hollman who tapped into Wright's psyche.

He said: “James has been brilliant. It is different for goalkeepers and a lot of managers will tell you they don't understand goalkeepers.

“When things weren't going right I didn't worry about it. I would analyse the game and look at what I needed to put right but then I didn't worry about it and didn't dwell on it.

“I used to do that but all I do now is concentrate on the positives and not worry about the negative.

“So all we do is work on things and talk with James about what we are going to look out for then get on the training pitch and got on with the job.”

Another motivating factor was Supple pushing so hard for a start, while at the same time working together.

Wright said: “When things weren't going right we both worked hard, Shane was working hard on being ready if he got in and I was working hard on keeping him out and preparing for the next game.

“You need that competition no matter where you are on the pitch.

“I was always aware of Shane because I know he is not just here to make up the numbers. He is a great keeper and I know I have to perform every week because he is just around the corner.”

The importance of a goalkeeping coach has been highlighted this week with Harry Redknapp looking to poach David Coles from Portsmouth to work with under-fire Tottenham keeper Heurelho Gomes and Wright believes in the value of having the right man in your corner.

He said: “Goalkeeping coaches are of massive importance. You need someone there for you, someone to talk to you and help you.

“Whenever you go out on that training pitch every player is trying to beat you in shooting practice and the coach gives you plenty of banter so you need a goalkeeping coach that understands you.

“I don't understand those people who ask why clubs need a goalkeeping coach. We work together and we know each other so well.

“They know how you think and what makes you tick.

“Certain coaches I have worked with have been good but for some reason it has not clicked because it is a very personal thing.

“I have worked with Malcolm Webster and Fred Barber in the past and they, along with James, are all very similar. We were work hard together but we have that banter.”

Wright is looking to continue his improved form at Blackpool today and a second successive clean sheet.

He added: “We had a good week with the results and are looking forward to the game.”

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk