'Soft touch' tag has to go - De Vos

BLUES skipper Jason De Vos is determined that Ipswich Town will lose their 'soft touch' tag this season.De Vos pointed to the way the side got stuck in against Crystal Palace on Saturday, inspired to some extent by new-boy Alex Bruce in a deep midfield position.

By Derek Davis

BLUES skipper Jason De Vos is determined that Ipswich Town will lose their 'soft touch' tag this season.

De Vos pointed to the way the side got stuck in against Crystal Palace on Saturday, inspired to some extent by new-boy Alex Bruce in a deep midfield position.

He intends to lead by example and is refusing to allow a sore knee to keep him out of the side that play Wolves tonight, with Richard Naylor on stand-by to wear the captain's armband if the unlikely were to happen.


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De Vos said: “Ipswich has always been known as a soft touch and that is something that is going to change. We as a squad of players will do whatever the manager asks of us in order to change that because we know that, if we don't, he will bring in someone else to do that.

“You can set the tone of the game by the first challenge and Alex did that and we were all snapping into tackles and winning the ball.

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“We were also dictating the pace of the game, with Alex and Gavin Williams directing the way the game was going and we deservedly went a goal up.

“But we need to keep that focus for the second half to and if we can do that at Wolves, and for the rest of the season, we will win a lot of football matches.”

The former Canadian captain also pointed to a lack of points away from home as something that needs to change and quickly.

The Blues picked up just one point from a possible 18 at the back end of last season, losing the last three and De Vos believes a change in approach is needed.

He said: “We did not get enough points on our travels last season and that certainly affected us last season. It is not just getting draws we have to win games away too.

“We will not be going to Wolves thinking we will be happy with a draw we are going there saying to ourselves we are going to win the game and if we maintain that self belief throughout the season we will win games.”

The Canadian has introduced a huddle before the game to fire up the side and it had the desired effect in the first half against Crystal Palace

De Vos said: “The huddle had a really good effect on Saturday. We were really fired up in the first half and it showed in the way we dominated the game.

“Perhaps where we let ourselves down a little was that we did not come out with the same intensity level in the second half.

“We know that we will need to address and we will look at that.”

Another aspect reintroduced is a motivational coach, with Watt Nicoll being used to put the players in an even more positive frame of mind before games and giving advice after matches.

De Vos said: “Watt has worked with some very successful athletes in the past. It gives us an outside perspective and he has given us some ideas. He has spoken to us as individuals and as a team.

“I have worked with sports psychologists in the past with Canada. It is very individual thing and like most things you get out of it what you put but it can be a great benefit.

“I spoke with Watt after the Palace game and he gave some advice on how to keep the same intensity for 90 minutes as we had in the first half because, had we done that, we would have walked out winners against Palace.

“We need to focus 100%. When we have the ball all 11 of us are attackers and when we don't have the ball all 11 are defenders.”

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