'Everything is possible but it starts with will and desire' - Morsy on Town's reaction at Wigan
Captain Sam Morsy was proud of his players’ reaction as Ipswich Town bounced back from defeat at Charlton with a spirited draw at Wigan Athletic.
A group of Ipswich supporters held up a banner reading ‘fight for the badge’ as the Blues emerged at the DW Stadium, with Morsy and his team doing just that as they came from behind to draw against a side who started the day in a share of the lead in League One.
James Norwood’s leveller in the closing stages ultimately secured a point just a few days after a hugely disappointing defeat at Charlton, in what was the first game since the sacking of manager Paul Cook.
And Morsy believes performances of this standard are what’s required as Town, currently led by interim boss John McGreal, bid to fight their way back into promotion contention.
“A point is maybe a fair reflection but I thought as the game was going on, we were the only side who was going to win it,” the Ipswich skipper said of his team’s Wigan draw.
“Their goal (scored by Callum Lang) was offside, but we were much improved in the second half and if the game had been longer there was only going to be one winner.
“It was a good point and a step in the right direction. They (Wigan) are a good team who are up there, rightly so, and it’s a really good test for us. But we showed character, showed grit and got back into the game.
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“We had the momentum at the end and could have won it. We were lively and getting into good positions.”
Discussing the club’s supporters, the banner and his team’s desire to put things right, Morsy said: “There have been some tough times at this club over the last few years but with the new owners coming in they have felt their light. We haven’t given them what they want but there are 23 games left – that's a lot of points to play for.
“Only we can put that right. Whoever the new manager is, only us as a group can put it right.
“Nothing’s won or decided in December. Our season is going to be up to us. We have a great group of lads in the changing room.
“We have half a season to try and do something special and that’s what we are going to try and do.
“Everything is possible but it starts with will and desire before anything else.”
It’s now a little over a week since manager Cook, who Morsy has worked with for much of the last decade at Chesterfield and Wigan, was sacked.
“The thing is, players aren’t robots,” the Ipswich captain said, reflecting on a tough week. “The manager has just been sacked and he brought pretty much every single player into the club.
“It takes its toll on you emotionally but we’ve had chats amongst ourselves and we know (the performance at Charlton) wasn’t right. I knew my performance wasn’t right and a lot of the lads held their hands up and said ‘we need to do better’. That’s a good thing because acknowledging shows you are going in the right direction.
“It was quite a shock (when Cook was sacked) so it’s tough. He brought everyone in and I have a real history with the manager.
“We’ve had those honest conversations and brushed ourselves down. A lot of the time there is only one place to look and that’s the mirror – you don’t blame anyone else other than yourself. That’s the only way to improve and we’ve all done that, resulting in a point today.
“I’ve been here before and then won promotions, so I know what it takes. Performances like that is what it takes.”
Asked if the events of the last seven days have brought an already tight-knit group closer together, Morsy replied: “Definitely. It has to. If you want to be successful you have to be with each other and rely on each other.
“Today you could see nobody was feeling sorry for themselves and we were all getting behind each other and fighting for each other.
“There were big tackles going in there and that’s something we need to do going forward because we do have the quality in the squad.
“The fans want to see the fight, determination and grit and we have to give it to them.”
And Morsy knows, in his role as captain, coaches, players and supporters alike will be looking to him to lead from the front. That’s a responsibility he relishes.
“I’ve been here many times, even in promotions where you’re the first person people look at and you have to lead by example,” he said.
“I am determined to be a success at this club. That is my big drive and my big ambition and I’ll do everything I can to achieve that.”