Naylor puts case for defence

IPSWICH defender Richard Naylor is desperate to celebrate at the double when basement club Bradford visit Portman Road tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).Town's longest-serving star will be seeking three points and a clean sheet at the expense of Bryan Robson's second-bottom strugglers.

By Mel Henderson

IPSWICH defender Richard Naylor is

desperate to celebrate at the double when basement club Bradford visit Portman Road tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).

Town's longest-serving star will be seeking three points and a clean sheet at the expense of Bryan Robson's second-bottom strugglers.

Yorkshire-born Naylor, who will be 27 later this month, cast his mind back to October last year and the corresponding game at Valley Parade.

He said: "We won 1-0 and kept a rare clean sheet. I always remember it, because we did well to hold out towards the end of a game we had dominated for so long.

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"Every player goes out to win and that's the bottom line. When you're a striker you want to score and if you're a defender the thing you want most is a clean sheet.

"I've actually been down when we have won. I've sat in the dressing-room and not been happy about the fact that we let a goal or two in.

"If we beat Bradford tomorrow I will be delighted, but if we do it without conceding a goal I will definitely be that much happier."

Naylor is only too aware that Ipswich have kept a mere four clean sheets in their 30 league games this season and that they have leaked 12 goals in their last four at home.

He said: "We need to show more discipline and work hard on keeping our shape and we need to be better organised when dealing with set pieces.

"We shouldn't worry about being at home. If we haven't scored twice in the first 20 minutes, for example, we mustn't panic and start chasing the game.

"We have always tended to be decent at home, but we're going through a bad spell at the moment and have let ourselves down.

"The only answer is to play our way out of it and look to set off on another unbeaten run."

Full-backs Fabian Wilnis (shoulder) and long-term casualty Chris Makin are Town's only definite non-starters as boss Joe Royle ponders his starting line-up from a 17-man squad.

Fit-again defender John McGreal will return. Up front, Darren Bent is favourite to start alongside Shefki Kuqi, with the out-of-sorts Pablo Counago dropping to the bench.

Royle warned: "People might say Bradford at home is a good game for us, but I'm sure Norwich thought the same and look what happened to them."

The relegation-threatened Bantams pulled off one of the season's biggest shocks by winning 1-0 at Carrow Road last month.

Royle knows his team can ill afford to slip up.

He admitted: "We've seen daft games here already this season – too many for my liking."

Bradford will be forced into a number of changes to the side beaten at home by West Ham last week, when they took the lead before crashing to their fourth defeat on the trot.

Squads

Ipswich: Davis, Wright, Naylor, McGreal, Richards, Miller, Magilton, Bart-Williams, Westlake, Kuqi, Bent, Counago, Diallo, Santos, Reuser, Bowditch, Price.

Bradford: Vaesen, Atherton, Wetherall, Bower, Heckingbottom, Summerbee, Wallwork, Farrelly, Emanuel, Gray, Windass, Branch, Cadamarteri, Standing, Evans, Davies.

Referee: Joe Ross (London).

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