Search

‘I love the physical challenge’ - McGuinness on his debut, and Town selection philosophy

PUBLISHED: 17:00 28 October 2020 | UPDATED: 17:15 28 October 2020

Mark McGuinness appeals during the Gillingham game Picture: STEVE WALLER

Mark McGuinness appeals during the Gillingham game Picture: STEVE WALLER

Mark McGuinness admits he loves nothing more than a physical battle - and relishes the Ipswich Town philosophy of ‘play well, stay in the team.’

Mark McGuinness heads clear Picture: STEVE WALLERMark McGuinness heads clear Picture: STEVE WALLER

The 19-year-old Republic of Ireland youth international, who is on a season-long loan at Portman Road from Arsenal, made an impressive debut for Paul Lambert’s side in their win over Gillingham last night.

It gave him a real taste for first-team action - and he wants more.

“I love the physical challenge of the game,” he said after a Teddy Bishop goal gave Town all three points.

“Heading, tackling, that’s my job.

MORE: Andy’s Angles: Five observations from Town’s win over the Gills

“It was great to get on the pitch and make my debut, even better to keep a clean sheet and a win. The last game I played was a few weeks ago, it’s been a bit frustrating, but the boys have been playing well. I’m happy for them and the team and have just kept working away, so when the opportunity came I like to think I’ve taken it.

Town players celebrate Teddy Bishops goal in the 1-0 victory over Gillingham.
    Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.comTown players celebrate Teddy Bishops goal in the 1-0 victory over Gillingham. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

“The philosophy at the club is that if you are playing well you stay in.

“That’s a good incentive to keep performing. You have that security of starting again if you are doing well.”

McGuinness formed a new central defensive partnership with Luke Woolfenden against a physical Gillingham side who gave them plenty to think about at times.

Sporting a cut eye from the Gills clash, McGuinness was glad to be handed a first-team opportunity, having spent much of his time playing U23 football.

Town players celebrate Teddy Bishops goal in the 1-0 victory over Gillingham.
    Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.comTown players celebrate Teddy Bishops goal in the 1-0 victory over Gillingham. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

“Under-23 football is a decent standard, but nothing compared to this,” he said.

MORE: ‘The best team lost by some distance’... Gills boss Evans!

Luke Chambers fires a ball into the box but Oli Hawkins couldnt get on the end of it.
    Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.comLuke Chambers fires a ball into the box but Oli Hawkins couldnt get on the end of it. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com

“It was a great game for me to come into. There was a mixture of emotions, mostly of excitement when I knew I was starting.

“A win and a clean sheet is the perfect debut for me, that’s my job.

“It was important to get back to winning ways, of course. We’ve dropped a few points of late. I should have scored, I had a couple of chances from Andre’s corners. They were great balls in, hopefully I will get a few goals this season.”

Town’s win moved them up to third in the League One table, ahead of another home clash, with Crewe, on Saturday - the Railwaymen having lost 0-1 to leaders Lincoln last night.

Gwion Edwards in action during the first half.
    Picture: Steve Waller       
www.stephenwaller.comGwion Edwards in action during the first half. Picture: Steve Waller www.stephenwaller.com


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ipswich Star. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Ipswich Star