Makin: We need to tighten defence

IPSWICH Town defender Chris Makin said today: "We need a clean sheet badly and we know it"

By Dave Allard

IPSWICH Town defender Chris Makin said today: "We need a clean sheet badly and we know it"

The Blues right-back, who figured in four shut-out shows after a £1.4 million move from Sunderland last March, continued: "Once we get a first clean sheet we'll start to climb the league and, hopefully, the first will come at home to Everton on Saturday.

"A clean sheet is so special for a defender. Walking off the field and looking back in the knowledge that you haven't conceded a goal means so much.

"Not conceding was a key part of our success last season and I hope we can soon get back to that situation again."

A mistake by Makin led to Leeds getting a late winner against low-in-the-Premiership Town in their last game, the 2-1 live Sky Sports defeat the Sunday before last.

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He said: "I was gutted about that, absolutely gutted. I was enjoying a fairly good game and then that happened. Individual mistakes have so often been our downfall this season.

"Maybe it's a concentration thing. I'm not certain. But whatever it is we've got to cut it out.

"That first clean sheet can make all the difference to us and the big aim has to be to make the game at home to Everton at the weekend the one where we get it."

Town, who beat Crewe away 3-2 in the Worthington Cup on Tuesday night with a changed side, have striker Alun Armstrong and central defender John McGreal under treatment for back soreness. Centre-half Mark Venus has a slight Achilles tendon problem.

England Under 21 defender Titus Bramble is again a big doubt for weekend action due to his on-going Achilles worry.

Meanwhile, Town reserves are in action tonight at Coventry in the FA Premier Reserve League.

Danish Under-21 international defender Thomas Gaardsoe, signed for £1.2 million from Aalborg, will get a first run-out for the second team. He has been an unused substitute in two first team games.

Gary Croft, the full-back who underwent a groin operation in the close season, returned to reserve action last month only to then suffer back trouble.

Former Blackburn man Croft gets back into action again against the Sky Blues second string this evening.

The Town reserve squad is: Marshall, Wilnis, J Miller, Gaardsoe, Croft, Ambrose, Nicholls, Westlake, Karic, Bent, Logan, Graaven, Artun, Mayes, Richards, Beevers.