McAuley: Our defending was criminal

NEW Ipswich Town skipper Gareth McAuley described his side's defending as criminal after the 2-1 opening day of the season defeat against Preston at Portman Road.

Elvin King

NEW Ipswich Town skipper Gareth McAuley described his side's defending as criminal after the 2-1 opening day of the season defeat against Preston at Portman Road.

And the 28-year-old reminded his team mates that the whole team are playing for their places after Saturday's game.

“We have plenty champing at the bit to step in,” said McAuley, who stood up for two young debut makers at the back.


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“Tommy Smith and Pim Balkestein are both young and learning fast. They are in the team on merit and are here and now.

“If they can keep their feet on the ground they have every chance of big futures in the game.

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“Ivan Campo will bring bags of experience to the squad, and that can only improve us.

“We must learn from our mistakes on Saturday. We were guilty of criminal defending and must learn as quickly as possible from this.

“We were beaten by a long range effort, and then by a goal following a free-kick when we switched off.”

But McAuley is still optimistic about the future adding: “We have 45 league games to go and will be judged after that.

“After the big build-up is was so disappointing on Saturday.

“Perhaps we got a bit excited after scoring very early and committed too many men forward.

“We should on hindsight have sat back more and killed the game off.

“There is plenty of time to put things right, and we have the ingredients to do that. But we must focus on putting points on the board as quickly as possible.”

McAuley enjoyed a run in the Carling Cup with Leicester City last season beating Aston Villa before losing to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

And he is looking for a similar scenario this year starting with a first round home game against Leyton Orient tomorrow.

“We have a chance to get Saturday out of our system against Orient and although they will be tough nuts to crack we must go looking for a confidence-building victory.”

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