Naylor: Too much being made of away form

RICHARD Naylor today said that too much is being made of Ipswich Town's dreadful away form.The Blues longest serving player, who is in line to make his comeback in this evening's Coca-Cola Championship game against Coventry at the Ricoh Arena, feels Town followers should count their blessings.

By Elvin King

RICHARD Naylor today said that too much is being made of Ipswich Town's dreadful away form.

The Blues longest serving player, who is in line to make his comeback in this evening's Coca-Cola Championship game against Coventry at the Ricoh Arena, feels Town followers should count their blessings.

“Too much is being made of the situation,” said Naylor.

“We go into tonight's game in seventh place and within touching distance of the play-offs.

“There is no way people should be harping on about things.

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“Our away form might not be good, but critics should look at the bigger picture.

“You can throw a blanket over around 15 clubs in the Championship and they are all roughly the same level.

“Fans get behind their teams at home, and this extra impetus often makes all the difference.

“I have watched a number of away games while I have been injured, and the team is not a million miles away.

“Coventry showed what they can do when they beat Manchester United in the Carling Cup, but they are a team that we are capable of beating - both home and away.”

Naylor career came close to an end six years ago when he underwent a number of knee operations before a solution was found in that one of his legs is shorter than the other. An insert in his boot eventually cleared up that problem.

The 30-year-old central defender has now been out for almost a year after suffering first toe and then neck injuries.

He is looking ahead to an injury-free 2008, but admits current squad members might have to up their games to remain regulars.

“It will become more difficult to get into the side, and when you get in to stay in,” said Naylor.

“There will be more competition if - as expected - the manager brings in players in the transfer window.

“But the future now looks bright for Ipswich Town.

“No more will the manager have to sell his best young players. This has proved most frustrating, but now we can kick-on and build together.”

He wants to forget 2007 adding: “I was captain of the side last January with Jason De Vos out injured when an innocuous challenge in the home FA Cup game against Swansea damaged my toe.

“Then when I was close to a return I was shoved in the back in training and suffered a slipped disc in my neck.

“There is nothing worse for a professional footballer than not playing.

“It is a poor existence and you feel as though you are not earning your money.

“Just spending time in the gymnasium makes you feel as though you are not contributing.”

Burnley took a successful gamble when they recalled Stephen Caldwell after six weeks out and no reserve game in the 0-0 draw at Portman Road last Saturday.

It remains to be seen if Naylor is given his chance tonight.

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