Holland: Fans will inspire recovery

MATT Holland today claimed that Ipswich Town's supporters will play a leading role in the Blues moving up the Championship table.

Elvin King

By ELVIN KING

elvin.king@archant.co.uk

MATT Holland today claimed that Ipswich Town's supporters will play a leading role in the Blues moving up the Championship table.

A fans' favourite during his six years at Portman Road from 1997 to 2003, the ex-Town skipper is confident his former Republic of Ireland team mate Roy Keane will soon turn things round.

Dubbed the best fans on the planet by Keane last week, Holland has similar views about the Ipswich faithful.

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“I was at the Watford match and to concede a 94th minute equaliser and still receive a standing ovation was terrific,” said Holland.

“Ipswich fans have always been the best and they always will be.

“They will help the players over the coming weeks and have a vital part to play.

“It increases pressure when players have supporters on their backs, but I know this will not happen at Ipswich.”

Holland played 259 games for the Blues and helped lead them to the Premier League after the Wembley play-off final win in 2000.

He scored 38 goals before moving on and playing 189 games for Charlton before being released in the summer.

The 35-year-old trained with Colchester pre-season and still lives in north Essex doing media work for both television and radio.

“Yes, it is a worrying situation to see Ipswich at the foot of the table without a win,” added Holland.

“The new manager has made so many changes, and it takes time for newcomers to become integrated.

“Roy will turn it round - I am sure about that.

“With the run of the ball they would be considerably higher in the table, and against Watford they could easily have won by three or four goals.”

Holland looks back on his first season with Ipswich as an example of how fortunes can change.

He recalled: “We were third from bottom in November yet went on to finish fifth and qualify for the play-offs.

“Only four points currently separate the top 10 in the Championship, and events can alter so quickly. A win and confidence immediately increases dramatically.”

Holland is writing a weekly blog for the Football League website where his incisive views have already been well received.

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