Wright bids to end Lions' play-off hopes
JERMAINE Wright is looking to knock Millwall out of the play-off zone today but will then cheer them all the way to the FA Cup final.
JERMAINE Wright is looking to knock Millwall out of the play-off zone today but will then cheer them all the way to the FA Cup final, writes Derek Davis.
Greenwich-born Wright joked that he will be tapping up ex-Town team-mate Andy Marshall for a couple of tickets should the Lions reach Cardiff's Millennium Stadium.
Wright said: “I was disappointed they did not do the job against Tranmere at home but delighted they are in with a chance of reaching the final.
“If they get there, I will be there for sure. I don't get a chance to see them much but my dad and some of my mates go quite often when Ipswich are away up north.”
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But first the Blues midfielder knows Town need to end a pointless March and he remains confident they have the ability to be better.
He said: “Possession-wise and in terms of quality of football, I genuinely feel we are the best team in the division bar none.
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“In the last couple of games we have played well. In the second half at Stoke in particular and in the first half at Norwich we should have been at least two goals up.
“The quality of those two teams, and I know they beat us by two goals, was nowhere near ours.
“For us it is about getting the balance right. Sometimes we are too direct, others we play too much football, but really it is about getting the ball in the net so we need to find the right mix.”
Town's game at the New Den has been their only scoreless draw of the season, in fact their only one since Stoke City a year ago.
Although Ipswich started well the arrival of player-manager Dennis Wise as an 18th-minute substitute changed the tempo of the match and when Georges Santos was sent off, a red card which was later rescinded, Millwall pinned Town back.
Wise is a major doubt for this afternoon after needing four stitches in a gash on a knee during the draw against Tranmere last Sunday.
changed the game when he came on by unsettling us and settling them, which is what he is good at. We went down to 10 men when we should not have and they played well but we hung on,” added Wright.
“Since then they have done very well. Big Danny Dichio has been a good signing for them and we know what a handful he can be.
“But we need to bring them back down to earth.”
Victory today would give either club a three-point gap on their opponents and while Town are thinking of nothing else but the Premiership, Millwall do have a distraction, which Wright has seen happen before after being involved in a League Cup semi-final and the UEFA Cup.
Wright said: “At the time you don't think so. You really try and take one game at a time but later you might realise it was a game too much, or you took one game for granted. They will try and be professional about it but if the league form slumps they will blame the cup.
“It is good to have a cup run, the fans want it and players want it.”
Wright is one of 10 players whose contract runs out in the summer and admits footballers don't have the luxury of early new deals as they used to have.
He said: “I'm a married man with kids so of course it is a worry. The worst possible scenario is to be out of a job but it is never that bleak. If you don't get a contract here then you hope you get another elsewhere so you still have a living.
“But it is no good stressing, you just have to do your stuff on the pitch. The club are not discussing contracts until the summer so you just have to play it by ear.
“Gone are the days where you got contracts of four years on better terms than the last.
“So it is down to us, you have to play your best to make sure you are one that the Gaffer wants to keep and if you win promotion the money comes with the success.”
John McGreal, Pablo Counago and Chris Bart-Williams are certain non-starters through injury, while Dean Bowditch is pressing for a starting position.