Tommy Smith: The only person I aim to please is the boss

Ipswich Town defender Tommy Smith. Photo: PAGEPIX LTD

Ipswich Town defender Tommy Smith. Photo: PAGEPIX LTD

Ipswich Town defender Tommy Smith insists the only person he aims to please is manager Mick McCarthy.

With a number of sloppy goals having been conceded in 2015, many supporters felt that McCarthy should have made changes to his back four.

Smith, 24, had come in for particular criticism following last weekend’s 4-1 defeat at Middlesbrough, but McCarthy stuck with the same outfield 10 and was rewarded with a 1-0 home win over Bolton on Tuesday night – only the second clean sheet in 16 matches.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s game at Championship league-leaders Watford, Smith – who has started 111 of the 124 games McCarthy has been in charge of at Town – said: “In the past there might have been a few chops and changes, but the manager has shown good loyalty, that’s nice, and hopefully I can repay him.

“I try not to pay too much attention to any criticism. I’d like to think that over the last couple of seasons, since the manager has been here, I’ve been a fairly solid performer.

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“The only person I’m interested in pleasing is the manager and I’ll continue to do that to the best of my ability.”

Asked how he rated his own form, the New Zealand international replied: “In general play it’s been quite good. Obviously a couple of goals I should have perhaps done better with, but the gaffer speaks to me about it and advises me on what I could have done differently.

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“Playing on the right-side of the centre-backs poses its challenges, but I’ve been working on my right foot and that’s improving slowly. It’s a weakness in my game and I have to keep working on it.

He added: “We do all our defensive stuff with the gaffer. He says that he wasn’t a footballer, he was a head it and kick it type, and that sometimes, when things aren’t going your way, you have to get back to the basics and do that first and foremost.

“He passes on his words of wisdom and we all take it on board.”

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