Wright: We have to do better at the back

WE must do better - that is the message from Ipswich Town's No. 1, Richard Wright.

Carl Marston

WE must do better - that is the message from Ipswich Town's No. 1, Richard Wright.

Town's keeper is the first to admit that he needs to up his game as well, to help propel the club up the Championship table over the next few weeks.

And it all starts against Newcastle United on Saturday evening (5.30pm kick-off), in a match that is being televised live on BBC 2.

“We need to shut up shop at the back,” admitted Wright, with reference to a leaky defence that is conceding an average of two goals per game.

“We know that we have to do better defensively, and I include myself in that. I don't hide behind anything.

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“We are conceding too many goals. It's not been good enough for us, and we always want to do better.

“I was disappointed most with the first goal that I conceded from the cross at Doncaster (3-3 draw last Saturday). You are taught as a keeper to go through everything, but unfortunately that didn't happen.

“You are always analysed as a goalkeeper, especially after you have made a mistake, but there were positives to come out of the game for me as well.

“Keepers are always there to be shot at. That's why I have to stay positive.

“I have high standards, and I'm always putting myself under pressure. I try not to dwell too much on my mistakes, I've learnt that as I've got older, but even now I just don't wash it off.

“I've learnt how to get on with it, but there's always pressure. And of course it affects me if I'm not doing very well,” added Wright.

Town are facing up to what in fact could be a make-or-break week. By the end of the following weekend, they could have moved up into mid-table; but looking on the black side, they could also be bottom.

Following the visit of second-placed Newcastle on Saturday, Roy Keane's men will tackle back-to-back trips to South Yorkshire, to take on Sheffield United at Bramall Lane (Tuesday evening) and Barnsley at Oakwell (Saturday week).

“It's a tough, tough week coming up,” confirmed Wright.

“We have played a lot of the big games early on, but we have to match these clubs because we are very ambitious ourselves.

“Things are improving. You have to take the positives out of every game, and we scored three goals away from home at Doncaster. That's a positive.

“And at least we have got something out of our last couple of games (also 1-1 draw against Nottingham Forest).

“Our new boys have settled in quite well. Grant Leadbitter has come in and given us some much-needed aggression in midfield,” added Wright.

A crowd approaching 27,000 is expected for Saturday's showdown. It is these sort of occasions that Town's experienced keeper really relishes, following his previous experiences with Ipswich, Arsenal, Everton and England (twice).

Wright continued: “It's going to be a near sell-out game, and as we know from all the derby games, there will be a good atmosphere. The late kick-off will also make it feel like a night game,” concluded Wright.