'Emotions are high' - McGreal on ugly scenes following Charlton loss

A police officer pushes Toto Nsiala away from angry Town fans.

A police officer pushes Toto Nsiala away from angry Town fans. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

Ipswich Town interim manager John McGreal admitted the players have 'got to be better for the fans' following tonight's limp 2-0 defeat at Charlton.

Only a string of Christian Walton saves prevented the Blues from being beaten by a much bigger scoreline in what was the first game played since Paul Cook's sacking.

Many of the travelling army of 3,159 Blues fans headed for the exits when Alex Gilbey finally killed the one-sided game off in the 88th minute, but plenty of those that stayed let the players know exactly what they thought of the performance at the end.

Town defender Toto Nsiala confronted a group on the front row and Walton, who tried to act as peacemaker, ended up being shoved by a fan who had jumped the hoardings.

Town fans react after the game.

Town fans react after the game. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

"I don't know what happened," said McGreal. "I sent the lads over, as I always do with the fans, because they pay their money. I sent the lads to clap the fans and that's all I know to date.

"It's two weeks before Christmas, they're putting their hands in their pockets and they come in their thousands for every single away game. Come Saturday, at Wigan, there will be thousands there again. We as a team have got to be performing better, a lot better.

"Emotions are high at the moment with the manager going and a couple of results not going the right way. We'll try and rectify that for the fans.

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"It's about character now. You've got to stand up tall, get your chest out and go again. You've just got to take it on the chin and move on.

"Let's see what they've got come Saturday."

Reflecting on the game, he said: "I thought we were in the game for 20 minutes and then you could just sense it going. Obviously they scored the goal. For me it looked onside to be fair, but someone is saying it's a little bit tight.

"After that we just lost our way a little bit. We couldn't get the first pass away, we couldn't really control the ball. There was a little bit of fear factor.

"I thought we got it back a little bit just before half-time and I thought we were definitely still in the game.

"Second half we were own worst enemy. We're in possession, there's a turnover and it's just a simple ball that puts them clean through. That's been our Achilles heel, especially tonight."

Town caretaker manager John McGreal pictured after the game.

Town caretaker manager John McGreal pictured after the game. - Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com

He continued: "Confidence is obviously a bit of an issue at the moment. You don't need for me to tell you that. 

"It's our job to pick it up. Training was bubbly yesterday, today the warm-up was very good, they are saying the right things, the energy levels seemed to be there... But the performance was nowhere near long enough or good enough. Charlton were well worthy winners."

With the Town players holding their own post-mortem in the dressing room afterwards, McGreal said: "I do welcome that, but the proof is in the pudding. I believe actions speak louder than words. 

"Some of them have played at higher levels. We've now got to get them guys back to that high again because there are some good players in there. It's just about getting that confidence and trying to instil a bit of belief and just energise them.

"I'll try my best. I'm in for a couple of games. We'll see how that goes. My remit is to come in and try and energise the lads, try and get a couple of good results. It hasn't worked tonight but we've got to go again, simple as. In football you win some, you lose some. 

"We're on a bit of a low at the moment, but you've got to go again because the games come thick and fast."

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