By Stuart Watson
Thursday, December 6, 2012
AARON Cresswell admits his form did dip at the start of the season – but he insists it was nothing to with Aston Villa’s interest in him over the summer.
The 22-year-old left-back was named the Supporters’ Player of the Year last season following a highly-impressive debut campaign after his step up from League One side Tranmere Rovers.
That led to Premier League club Aston Villa – Town’s hosts in the third round of the FA Cup in the New Year – making an enquiry about his availability in the summer.
Blues chief executive Simon Clegg gave it short shrift and a noticeable dip in form followed for Cresswell at the start of this season as Town dropped to the foot of the Championship table and manager Paul Jewell was sacked.
The full-back has shown signs that he is getting back to his best in recent weeks though as new boss Mick McCarthy has materminded a return of 13 points from 21 to lift the club five points clear of the relegation zone.
“At the start of the season I know I hadn’t been playing well,” admitted Cresswell. “But the whole team hadn’t been playing well. We were getting beat, confidence was low and no-one was really at the top of their game.
“I think I’m starting to pick up form again now – as we all are.”
Asked about Aston Villa’s interest in him, Cresswell said: “Everyone has said ‘his head’s turned’ and ‘he may not want to be here’, but that was never the case. No-one spoke to me directly, I just read what was said in the papers.
“I was always fully committed to Ipswich – I had three years left on my contract at the beginning of the season so I just kept my head down.
“I’ve been down here 18 months now, I‘ve got two-and-half-years left on my contract and I love it down here.” Reflecting on Saturday’s come-from-behind 2-1 win at Bolton, the left-back added: “First half I don’t think we played particularly well and we could do nothing about the goal – it was 30 yards into the top corner (from Mark Davies).
“We kept it tight at the back though and we knew that second-half we could kick on in the game. We did towards the end and thankfully it was a good win.
“Maybe a couple of weeks or months ago we’d have sat back and held on for the draw, but at the minute confidence is high in the camp. We wanted the win more than them I suppose.
“Over the last six games we’ve had four wins and a drawn – that’s more or less promotion form you could say. We’ve just got to keeping pushing up that table now and see where that takes us.”
– For more from Cresswell, as well as full match preview of Ipswich Town’s visit of in-form Millwall to Portman Road, see tomorrow’s Ipswich Star.