Ipswich Town defender Harry Clarke has said that his side are working hard to address their record of conceding early goals.

The Blues have fallen behind in each of their last five games, winning one, drawing two and losing two. While they’ve accumulated more points from losing positions than anyone else in the Championship, it isn’t sustainable in a promotion push.

Clarke knows that it’s an issue that needs to be addressed, even if they’ve been unfortunate in their recent run.

“It’s something we’re speaking about,” he said. “Obviously last year, we found it quite easy to start well and get an early goal in games. This year, it’s just football, really. You don’t always get the early goal – things happen in football.

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“The boys have got a great character and we’re going well.

“It’s 100% our main strength. It’s a great group and we come back from a lot.”

The bigger picture is that Ipswich are still fourth in the league, sitting four points behind Southampton and three points behind Leeds United, with a game in hand on the latter.

Ipswich Star: The right-back believes that Town will be able to recover from their dip in formThe right-back believes that Town will be able to recover from their dip in form (Image: Stephen Waller)

On top of that, they boast an 11 point lead on fifth-place West Brom, meaning that they’re in a fantastic position to secure a top-six finish in their first season back in the Championship.

“We’re still going good,” Clarke argued “We’re still playing our way and performing well.

“We’re not on the best results run, but that’s football. There’s 46 games in a season and you’re not going to win all 46 and go unbeaten.

“You’re going to face adversity at some point, so it’s about how you react to that. We’ve got a good opportunity now.”

Their recent run has been difficult, facing arch-rivals Norwich City, promotion-rivals Leeds and leaders Leicester City (twice). While the results have been poor, their performances have often deserved more than a draw or a defeat.

This next spell looks to be considerably easier, with nine games against teams in the bottom half of the table before hosting Southampton on April 1st.

Clarke knows that the expectation will be on Ipswich to improve in the coming weeks, but he’s keen to stress that the fixtures will still be challenging regardless.

Ipswich Star: Clarke knows the importance of the upcoming run against opponents in the bottom half of the ChampionshipClarke knows the importance of the upcoming run against opponents in the bottom half of the Championship (Image: Ross Halls)

“You could say that [the run is easier] on paper, but the Championship is a tough league,” the 22-year-old explained. “Every game is tough, every game has their own difficulties.

“It’s going to be tough, but hopefully we can put a run of wins together.”

Ipswich’s January recruits will certainly play a part in the final months of the campaign.

Clarke was one of four players to join the club at the start of 2023, helping them secure promotion to the Championship after a difficult run.

Jeremy Sarmiento, Lewis Travis, Ali Al-Hamadi and Kieffer Moore have all impressed since moving to Suffolk, be that on the pitch or in training, and the right-back believes that they’ve done well to settle in and contribute so quickly.

“We brought in Kieffer, who’s played at the top level, and Ali, who’s shown what he can do since he’s been here,” Clarke said. “They’re electric, and Trav and Jeremy are going to bring in their own qualities as well.

“We’ve got a good squad and we’re looking good for the rest of the season.

“I think they’ve adapted really well. Kieffer started on the weekend and showed what he can do in a short amount of time. The boys coming off the bench have adapted well and are ready to play in our shirt.

Ipswich Star: The 22-year-old was full of praise for Kieffer Moore and Ali Al-HamadiThe 22-year-old was full of praise for Kieffer Moore and Ali Al-Hamadi (Image: Ross Halls)

“In training, Kieffer brings his own aerial qualities - he’s quite big! Ali is very sharp.

“That’s what we need. We need competition for places and I need to be tested. It’s good.”

All eyes turn to this evening’s game against Millwall, although a trip to The Den will be a new experience for some of the players in the Ipswich squad.

That won’t be the case for Clarke, however, who was one of Stoke City’s best players when they were beaten 2-0 by the Lions in SE16 back in July 2022.

“It’s an interesting experience and a tough place to go,” he admitted. “I played there last year, it was the first game of the season. We didn’t get the win.

“We’ll have to be at our best.”