McAuley hopes defence get time to gel

TEAM captain Gareth McAuley has joined forces with club captain Richard Naylor and called for Ipswich Town manager Jim Magilton to adopt a consistent selection policy.

Elvin King

TEAM captain Gareth McAuley has joined forces with club captain Richard Naylor and called for Ipswich Town manager Jim Magilton to adopt a consistent selection policy.

Naylor has been McAuley's central defensive partner for the last four games and the pair are expected to feature at the back when the Coca-Cola Championship resumes after the international break with Reading visiting Portman Road on Saturday, September 13.

Town's longest-serving player, Naylor called publicly for his manager to give the back line time to gel. And McAuley, who is currently in Slovakia for a Northern Ireland World Cup qualifier tomorrow, agrees.

“I can relate to Richard's comments about the need for the team to have a solid look to it and have time to develop into a unit.

“I played 70 games with Patrick Kisnorbo at Leicester and we developed a good understanding with each other.

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“With newcomers joining the squad, there has been a number of different players in the back four.

“We started with highly-promising youngsters Tommy Smith and Pim Balkestein, and then Richard (Naylor) came in.

“David Wright, Alex Bruce and Chris Casement have been in and out and Moritz Volz has recently arrived.”

McAuley knows the importance of tomorrow's match to his chances of helping Northern Ireland reach the World Cup finals and he sees his country's away form as the key to their fortunes.

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