Matt vows to silence his critics

IPSWICH star Matt Richards has vowed to silence his critics among the Portman Road crowd.The 21-year-old academy graduate left the pitch towards the end of Saturday's 3-1 home win over Sunderland to a chorus of ironic applause from a small section of the crowd.

By Mel Henderson

IPSWICH star Matt Richards has vowed to silence his critics among the Portman Road crowd.

The 21-year-old academy graduate left the pitch towards the end of Saturday's 3-1 home win over Sunderland to a chorus of ironic applause from a small section of the crowd.

It was an action replay of the fans' response when Richards exited the action almost an hour into the defeat of Southampton two weeks earlier.

He was axed from the subsequent games against Coventry and Birmingham but restored to the starting line-up at the weekend when Town were minus injured midfielders Simon Walton and Sylvain Legwinski.

Richards, who has one England Under-21 cap, said: “Obviously it wasn't a very nice thing to happen but I didn't let it bother me or affect the way I play.

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“I'm not that kind of person and just wanted to get on with things as normal.

“I wasn't having the best of games (against Southampton) but still didn't feel I deserved that kind of treatment.”

Richards was a surprise inclusion in the Ipswich side against Sunderland because his name did not feature in an 18-man squad named the previous day by Magilton.

The manager's wink and broad smile when asked to explain the situation confirmed it was nothing more than a spot of pre-match kidology on his part.

Richards praised his boss when he added: “The success we are having now is all down to the gaffer.

“We want to work hard and be successful for him and, although it took a while to find our feet, we're really showing our ability now.

“Everyone can see the passion, guts and determination in the team and I really believe we'll get better and better.

Sammy Moore was another player who did not feature in Magilton's squad but was named on the bench and then replaced Richards for his senior debut.

The 19-year-old midfielder, who was released by Chelsea's academy, said: “It was amazing, something I had dreamt of since coming here. I know it was only five minutes but it has given me a massive boost and a taste for more.”

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