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Kings of Anglia Issue 10 Magazine Offer

Ex-Town star blasts boo boys

PUBLISHED: 13:49 19 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:41 03 March 2010

FORMER Ipswich Town player of the year, Trevor Putney, today pointed to a lack of confidence as the reason for Town's worrying start to the season.

The former midfield favourite declared: "Football is ten per cent about ability and 90 per cent about confidence and at the moment this is very much the case with the Blues.

FORMER Ipswich Town player of the year, Trevor Putney, today pointed to a lack of confidence as the reason for Town's worrying start to the season.

The former midfield favourite declared: "Football is ten per cent about ability and 90 per cent about confidence and at the moment this is very much the case with the Blues."

And, in the wake of last night's 0-0 UEFA Cup stalemate with Helsingborg, current Blues skipper Matt Holland admitted George Burley's players are short of confidence.

Putney, who also played for Norwich, Middlesbrough, Watford and Colchester, feels the booing after the second round, first leg draw against Helsingborg at Portman Road is not the way to help the situation.

"The crowd don't help in that situation," he said. "I know that expectancy levels are high after what the team did last season.

"But I think the fans who boo and barrack need to be a bit more realistic and know that the team are not going to win week after week and they did last season. The players need lifting at the moment and hearing boos after doing their best is not good for them."

Putney added: "At the moment Ipswich look like a team that are playing with little or no confidence. As a result there are not half as many options in the team.

"Last season when a Town player got the ball there were four or five players wanting to take it off him and take it on. This is not the case now and that is a classic case of a lack of confidence.

"When confidence is high a team will knock the ball around and play a passing game. Ipswich have become renowned for it, but it is difficult to do that when anxiety creeps into the make-up of a side.

"It's symptomatic of a team that is having a bad run and is straining to get it right. During a long career with several clubs I was involved in situations like this. A good win and a few goals can make all the difference and I think the fans can help so much in this respect.

"Town can snap out of it and I hope that they go to Fulham on Sunday and get the sort of win they badly need. The players are there who were so full of quality and confidence last season.

"They have what it takes to really show forth again and I think the fans have a big part to play by keeping off their backs as much as possible. It is still very early in the season, there is so much to play for."

Putney added: "At the moment people are disappointed. But that can all change with a few wins and I look forward to seeing that happen.

"Town have achieved so much in the past few years both on and off the field. Hopefully everyone can work together and see it continue."

Holland and his team-mates were last night locked in intense dressing room talks for a full 40 minutes after the disappointing draw with Swedish outfit Helsingborg.

And the Republic of Ireland star said today: "Perhaps we're too uptight, perhaps we need to relax a bit more."

For the second successive game there were boos as the team left the field, following a similar barracking as the players departed after last weekend's 0-0 home draw with Everton.

Had it not been for a series of brilliant saves by goalkeeper Matteo Sereni the visitors would have taken a healthy advantage in the second leg on November 1.

Holland said: "We had a long talk in the dressing room and it was all constructive criticism. We know there are things that are not right and we talked it through.

"No one is blaming each other. We know we've got to work together to sort out our problems. We all have high expectations. Things were going right for us last season, but it has not been so good this season.

"We know we've got to do better and we will do better. But no individual is to blame. It's a team game and we are all in it together."

Despite the disappointing show on a night when UEFA president Lennart Johansson opened the new South Stand, the tie remains wide open.

In the last round Town drew 1-1 at home with Torpedo Moscow and then triumphed 2-1 in the Russian capital.

Holland added: "This 0-0 is better than 1-1. We can go to Sweden with confidence having not conceded any away goals. I'm sure we can get our game going smoothly again. We'll all pull together to try and make sure it happens."

The Blues made two changes from the starting line-up against Everton. Striker Alun Armstrong failed a fitness test on his back injury and Finidi George returned up front.

The other change saw Fabian Wilnis return from the start at right-back in place of Chris Makin.

Town's next match is one Sunday when they face Fulham at Craven Cottage. (Kick-off 1pm).

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