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Skipper says money not the problem

PUBLISHED: 07:00 24 February 2003 | UPDATED: 16:20 24 February 2010

BLUES skipper Matt Holland has refused to allow the off-field shenanigans to be offered as reason for two poor results in four days.

BLUES skipper Matt Holland has refused to allow the off-field shenanigans to be offered as reason for two poor results in four days, writes Derek Davis.

As the Ipswich Town players' representative, Holland will be holding talks with the club and the players' union this week to decide on whether to accept another pay deferral following the club's move into administration.

But he dismisses the notion that these talks are distracting the players' primary objective of winning promotion, despite dropping two points against Grimsby on Saturday and losing 4-2 at home to Wolves last Wednesday even though they twice led.

He said: “It would be a lame excuse. Once you cross the white line you forget what is happening off the field all you should do is concentrate on the three points.”

To drop points to Grimsby at home was especially hurtful after starting the beginning of last week one win away from the top six.

Holland said: “We said before the game that it was a must-win fixture so a point was not good enough. No disrespect to Grimsby or Bradford but we have lost six to City and five to Grimsby and you know if you are to be promoted you have to do better than that.

“We have had two home fixtures in a week and picked up one point. We know that is not good enough and are very disappointed with ourselves, especially at this stage of the season when home form is vital.”

First-half defensive frailties left Town in tatters and even though Darren Bent had pulled them back in it with a great diving header, Ipswich never found their groove.

Holland added: “We just didn't get going at all. It is difficult to put your finger on why and we can't have any excuses.

“I can understand the crowd's frustration, we thought it was game where we should get three points and the fans likewise.”

The Blues are now six points away from sixth-placed Wolves and sit in ninth spot. It is not an impossible position but is made increasingly difficult by dropping banker points.

Holland admitted: “It is not going to be easy, we have given ourselves a mountain to climb. It is not beyond the realms of possibility but it does mean beating the teams around whether that is at home or away.”

With Darren Bent in goal-scoring mood and Marcus Bent hitting form it is possible for Town to win games but they know they must stop conceding so easily.

Holland added: “They were terrific two goals from Darren Bent. He has got himself on the scoresheet again and has looked bright and lively, getting into dangerous areas. I was pleased for him, he deserved his goals.

“He and Darren Ambrose have been a breath of fresh air this season - it is like having two new signings.”


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