Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Ward and Daniels are consummate pros

Eddie Howe had no worries about putting Charlie Daniels and Elliott Ward straight back into the starting line up against Ipswich. The two players had been out for some time, but it was clear that some changes were likely considering that the team had not won in its last two games. I had thought that it might be Steve Cook who missed out after the Sheffield game but as always Steve played a blinder at Portman Road to back Eddie Howe's selection.
Charlie Daniels at Portman Road.
It was a bit of a surprise to see that Tommy Elphick would miss out, but he has had a bad back it appears and while he has had a good run in the team, Elliott Ward had been waiting patiently for several games. I felt that Elliott had another strong game, reading the play well and getting his body across Murphy and the ball frequently. To be fair Daryl Murphy hardly had a kick with Cook and Ward in his face all the time. 
Apparently the team coach was late to the game so the players lost
about 10 minutes warm up time before the Ipswich match.
Charlie Daniels supported Pugh admirably and while I don't think he crossed the ball as much as he can do, I expect Eddie Howe had given him warning not to push up all the time. As it was Ipswich were not that powerful on the break and if AFCB had just kept their heads better they could have won the game, as Eddie Howe pointed out in his post-match interview.

Elliott Ward fitted in excellently as if had been playing in the last five games.
Even when the team went to three at the back with Daniels coming off I could not see Ipswich scoring unless they has a set play. It is clear that Eddie now trusts his players to play whatever system he sees fit when the situation demands it, and with players able to play in different positions you can see that this team is continually improving. I hope that the home supporters can give them a big send off on Saturday against Nottingham Forest, because the work they have put in has been incredible this season and they are going to be an even more powerful team next season.

Ward and Daniels will be looking to hold on to their places against Nottingham Forest and it will be a real test to see if they can help the team get a clean sheet in the final home match. 
Elliott was on top form at Ipswich.

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