Richards remains optimistic

By Derek DavisChief Football WriterALTHOUGH it was a bit of a miserable birthday for Matt Richards he is optimistic Town will soon be back to winning ways.

By Derek Davis

Chief Football Writer

ALTHOUGH it was a bit of a miserable birthday for Matt Richards he is optimistic Town will soon be back to winning ways.

The England Under-21 full back believes Town will start tomorrow against Stoke City, who they owe after losing in Staffordshire three months ago.

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Ipswich have not lost at Portman Road since last April, a sequence of 18 matches.

Richards said: "It is important for us to stay undefeated at home and if we do that then that will help us enormously.

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"We don't tend to draw many at home either, they are usually wins."

If earlier reaction this season is anything to go by then Stoke will have their hands full.

Defeat at Derby was followed by a 3-1 win over Cardiff City. A draw at West Ham came after the loss at Stoke and the next home game saw Town beat Plymouth 3-2.

Going down at Sunderland also hurt the Blues, who sunk Brighton at Portman Road in the next game.

Richards warned: "We do bounce back because this sort of defeat hurts. We didn't deserve to lose and this will fire us up for Tuesday and ensure we get all three points."

Richards, who turned 20 yesterday, was disappointed to be substituted during the team's 3-1 defeat and that Town had stumbled to a team he felt were second best.

He said: "We were the better team so it was disappointing for them to score just before half-time.

"To concede early in the second half didn't do us much good although we were still dominant. Things just didn't go for us."

"Everything went Millwall's way – even the decisions."

The Blues Academy graduate accepted that he was sacrificed for what was hoped would be the greater good as he made way for Jim Magilton who stirred Town into a brief fight-back.

Richards said: "It was a tactical move to get as many players forward as possible but while I was disappointed to come off I understand why."

Loanee Danny Karbassiyoon from Arsenal made his Blues debut going on for the last five minutes in place of Kevin Horlock .

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