Let's stop those early goals - McAuley

BLUES skipper Gareth McAuley is looking to lead by example at play-off rivals Preston today.

Derek Davis

Let's stop those early goals - McAuley

By Derek Davis

BLUES skipper Gareth McAuley is looking to lead by example at play-off rivals Preston today.


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That includes stopping an early goal that has afflicted their past two away games and playing his part in getting Town's noses in front, preferably by scoring himself.

Ipswich went behind at Swansea, and lost 3-0, then again at QPR but came back to win 3-1 so getting an early goal themselves would be welcome.

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McAuley said: “We concede early so it would be good to get one quickly ourselves.

“It settled everything down and allows us to build on that.

“At QPR the early goal just galvanised us. It seemed to gives us even more determination not to lose.”

Although he has come agonisingly close, McAuley has yet to follow his international goal for Northern Ireland in San Marino earlier in the month with a Town goal, but he is looking to change that.

He said: “I'm dying to get more. I usually get three or four in a season so I'm hoping to get a couple more soon and reach my quota to help out the lads.

“It would be good to get one myself but as long as the team is winning and we are getting the three points it doesn't matter.

“Every time I go up now I feel we have a chance. It was at QPR where they scramble clear so we are getting closer. Set pieces are a big part of our game and if we can nick one it will be a bonus.”

Not only has he looked a threat but the �1.1m signing from Leicester City has shown an ability to assist in gaols with his classy distribution from the back.

He said: “At Leicester the choices were taken away from you. There were two or three balls you were allowed to play here you are encouraged to step out and use the ball. It is something Steve (Foley) and the gaffer have encouraged and something I want to do more of.”

The man who took his to Leicester from Lincoln is now assistant to Alan Irvine at Preston and McAuley knows that means Preston will be a real threat.

He said: “Rob is a very good coach and along with Alan Irvine they have got Preston into a very good position.

“They have probably over-achieved given where they were last year with basically the same set of players.”

McAuley will command a back line that could be without Ben Thatcher who has a foot injury, which could mean David Wright switching to the left side allowing Moritz Volz to return on the right.

Preston squad: Lonergan, Neal, Jones, Davies, Ledger, Davidson, Nolan, Nicholson, Mawene, McKenna, Chaplow, Carter, Whaley, Parkin, Brown, Mellor, Hawley, Wallace, Elliott.

Ipswich Town: R Wright, Supple, D Wright, Volz, Thatcher, Bruce, McAuley, Balkestein, Shumulikoski, Miller, Garvan, Quinn, Norris, Civelli, Walters, Lisbie, Counago, Stead, Bowditch.

derek.davis@eadt.co.uk

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