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‘Where was the passion, heart, belief and desire?’ – Town legend Osman says players must take responsibility

PUBLISHED: 09:21 25 October 2017

Joe Garner walks off dejected following Ipswich Town's 1-0 home defeat to Norwich City. Photo: PA

Joe Garner walks off dejected following Ipswich Town's 1-0 home defeat to Norwich City. Photo: PA

PA Wire

Ipswich Town legend Russell Osman says the club’s players need to start taking responsibility after a worrying slump in form continued with a 1-0 home defeat to rivals Norwich City on Sunday.

Ipswich Town legend Russell Osman says the club’s players need to start taking responsibility after a worrying slump in form continued with a 1-0 home defeat to rivals Norwich City on Sunday.

Mick McCarthy’s men have now lost seven of their last nine games in all competitions to slip to 11th in the Championship table, heaping pressure on Saturday’s trip to struggling Burton Albion.

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“I don’t always agree with what the manager does or says, but he’s not the one going out there and playing the game,” said former centre-back Osman.

“Tactics don’t win you football matches – players do. They have to take a large chunk of the responsibility. When you cross that white line it’s down to you. It’s not only about thinking ‘well I did alright’, it’s about making sure the player in front of you, and beside you, and behind you has a good game too.

“Sometimes you don’t have to play the best football to win a game of football. Sometimes it’s about having a bit more passion, a bit more heart, a bit more belief and a bit more desire than the opposition. Where was that Sunday? There was energy, but I didn’t see or feel the passion.”

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Asked if it was solely down to passion, the Bristol-based television pundit continued Osman replied: “What else can it be? Terry Butcher was there days after his son passed away because of how much he cares about the club. The reception he got from supporters before the game was absolutely magnificent. If that can’t stir you as a player then what can?

“Under George Burley we weren’t the best side. Even when we won the FA Cup in ‘78 and the UEFA Cup in ‘81 we weren’t the best team when you compared us to other teams player for player.

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“But we had lads who were able to roll their sleeves up and dig out results when it mattered. It’s about how badly you want it.”

He added: “We’ve just lost our identity as a club. We can’t beat Norwich on our patch. It’s a sad state of affairs and it hurts every ex-player seeing the club standing still. I see a lot of them regularly and we are all singing off the same hymn sheet.

“I feel for the fans. They just want to go to Portman Road and see a team play with a bit of passion. There are so many people willing the club to do well, but they need something to latch onto and get behind.”

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