Crawford urges Town to find settled side

RAY Crawford today echoed former Ipswich Town captain Mick Mills' concerns over the size of the current Blues' squad.Crawford is still Town's highest goalscorer with 227 goals from 353 starts and he was also the first Blues player to win an England cap.

Elvin King

RAY Crawford today echoed former Ipswich Town captain Mick Mills' concerns over the size of the current Blues' squad.

Crawford is still Town's highest goalscorer with 227 goals from 353 starts and he was also the first Blues player to win an England cap.

The striker was an a crucial part of the Town side that stunned the football world by winning the old First Division title in 1961/62 - their first season in the top flight.


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Yesterday Mills told of his belief that the bigger a club's squad was, the more trouble it caused and Crawford also said town manager Jim Magilton should find a settled side.

The late Sir Alf Ramsey, who was Crawford's manager during the Championship-winning season, only made changes when forced into them after identifying what he considered to be his top side.

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“We had a few players who were on the fringe, but they were only rarely used,” recalled Crawford.

“Sir Alf selected what he thought would be his best side not who he thought were his best players.

“It worked for him, both at Ipswich and for England.

“My advice to Jim would be to settle on his best side, and then stick with it for four or five matches.”

Crawford, who is to summarise Ipswich Town's Coca-Cola Championship game for BBC Radio Suffolk on Wednesday September 17, likes what he has seen in Magilton as a manager although he was more impressed by Wolverhampton on his last visit to Portman Road.

“Both Sir Alf and Bobby Robson were given time to establish themselves with Ipswich, and I hope that the current owner gives Jim the same courtesy now.

“I was left out for just one spell during my time playing under Sir Alf, and I worked hard during the summer to come back and help Ipswich win the Second Division title the next season.

“The year after we won the First Division.”

Kenny Malcolm was injured early in the 1961/62 championship-winning campaign and John Compton was converted from a midfielder to take his place at left-back for the remainder of the season.

Otherwise Ramsey used his chosen first XI whenever possible throughout the season.

“I was once responsible for skipper Andy Nelson missing a rare game when I accidently landed on his ankle during a Tuesday training game,” added Crawford, who along with fellow striker Ted Phillips contributed 61 goals in 1961/62.

“But to bring in different players was a rarity although I appreciate we did not have to contend with substitutes in our day.”

Ipswich Town regular 1961/62 side: Bailey, Carberry, Compton, Baxter, Nelson, Elsworthy, Stephenson, Moran, Crawford, Phillips, Leadbetter. Rest of squad: Malcolm, Curtis, Laurel, Owen, Rees, Millward, Pickett. Total: 18.

Current Ipswich Town squad (in shirt number order): R Wright, D Wright, McAuley, Bruce, Naylor, Garvan, Miller, Counago, Norris, Lisbie, Peters, Stead, Balkestein, Bowditch, Haynes, Walters, Campo, Volz, Quinn, Shumulikoski, Supple, Thatcher, Smith, Trotter, Robinson, Rhodes, Reason. Total: 27.

Plus: Harding, Clarke, Richards, Casement and Upson are out on loan.

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