Miller backs Town to score
SOMETHING has got to give today when the hottest strike force in the Championship comes across the meanest defence in the league at Portman Road.Ipswich Town midfielder Tommy Miller is backing his forwards to crack his former team-mate John McGreal's tight rearguard but urges patience.
SOMETHING has got to give today when the hottest strike force in the Championship comes across the meanest defence in the league at Portman Road.
Ipswich Town midfielder Tommy Miller is backing his forwards to crack his former team-mate John McGreal's tight rearguard but urges patience.
Miller warns: “Burnley are going to be hard to break down and the key for us is not to get frustrated.
“If it gets to 60 or 70 minutes and we still have not scored we have to stay patient and keep playing our normal game. If anyone can break them down then it is us because we do score a lot of goals and we can create a lot of chances.”
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With Darren Bent out injured Town will have to rely on Shefki Kuqi, Dean Bowditch and Pablo Counago to try and get the much-needed goals against a side that have conceded just one away in the league this year, in their only defeat which was at West Ham.
The trio have banged in 10 of Town's 23 league goals between them, the highest in the Championship while Miller is no slouch either, weighing in with three (plus one in the Carling Cup), although his last goal was against Wolves at the end of August.
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He said: “Having the three up front restricts you a little although having Jim (Magilton) and Kevin (Horlock) in midfield means I can get forward more. I am overdue a goal and hopefully I can tuck one away on Saturday.
“The good thing is we have four great forwards at this club at the moment. It is good competition and all four of them can score and create goals.”
Miller has made no secret that he enjoys playing in the same side as Counago, who is regarded as technically one of the best forwards in the league.
He said: “I feel a little bit for Pablo. He is a great player and I have said before how much I enjoy playing in the same side as him but the Gaffer is going with the other three at the moment because he sees them working harder which is why they are in the side.”
While Burnley have been outstanding at the back by conceding the fewest goals in the Championship, seven, with six of those at home, the last team to prevent Town scoring at Portman Road was Norwich City way back on December 21 2003. That 2-0 reverse came a week after their last goal-less draw, at Millwall and you have to go back a staggering 78 matches to March 8, 2003 when there was last a no-scoring game at Portman Road with Stoke City shutting them out that day.
But if a goal-less draw is due then Burnley, who play with just Robbie Blake up front and were hit for six at Portman Road last season, and Town without Bent, could be the teams involved.
They now have John McGreal - a player Miller rates highly - anchoring their defence.
He said: “Burnley have done very well. They are very resilient and hard to break down.
“John McGreal will be looking to do his best against us although he has nothing to prove here because he was excellent for Ipswich.
“A fully-fit John McGreal is an outstanding defender who reads the game so well.
“It was sad, and a little strange, to see him go but we have moved on and we are sitting level top of the table now.”
While the Clarets are spilling blood to keep clean sheets, Miller believes Town are barely breaking sweat yet and have plenty more to offer.
He said: “We have not played to our best yet, apart from Wolves in the first half where we played well but we can improve on that.
“We are in an excellent position and if we can step it up a gear we can take it further.”