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Ipswich interim boss speaks on ugly scenes as fans confront players

New Ipswich Town interim boss John McGreal speaks on the ugly scenes that took place as fans confront players at Charlton on Tuesday.

John McGreal admitted his players have ‘got to be better for the fans’ following the dismal 2-0 defeat at The Valley.

It is hadn’t been for the impressive saves of Christian Walton, it could have been a huge thrashing for the Blues in what was the first game played since Paul Cook’s sacking.

While a lot of the 3,159 Blues fans headed for the exits when Alex Gilbey killed the one-sided game off in the 88th minute, there were a group that stayed behind until the final whistle before then venting out their anger at the players.

Ipswich defender Toto Nsiala confronted a number of supporters on the front row while keeper Walton, who tried to calm the situation down, ended up being shoved by a fan who had jumped the hoardings.

“I don’t know what happened,” said McGreal. “I sent the lads over, as I always do with the fans, because they pay their money. I sent the lads to clap the fans and that’s all I know to date.

“It’s two weeks before Christmas, they’re putting their hands in their pockets and they come in their thousands for every single away game. Come Saturday, at Wigan, there will be thousands there again. We as a team have got to be performing better, a lot better.

“Emotions are high at the moment with the manager going and a couple of results not going the right way. We’ll try and rectify that for the fans.

“It’s about character now. You’ve got to stand up tall, get your chest out and go again. You’ve just got to take it on the chin and move on.

“Let’s see what they’ve got come Saturday.”

Reflecting on the game, he said: “I thought we were in the game for 20 minutes and then you could just sense it going. Obviously they scored the goal. For me it looked onside to be fair, but someone is saying it’s a little bit tight.

“After that we just lost our way a little bit. We couldn’t get the first pass away, we couldn’t really control the ball. There was a little bit of fear factor.

“I thought we got it back a little bit just before half-time and I thought we were definitely still in the game.

“Second half we were own worst enemy. We’re in possession, there’s a turnover and it’s just a simple ball that puts them clean through. That’s been our Achilles heel, especially tonight.”

He continued: “Confidence is obviously a bit of an issue at the moment. You don’t need for me to tell you that.

“It’s our job to pick it up. Training was bubbly yesterday, today the warm-up was very good, they are saying the right things, the energy levels seemed to be there.

“But the performance was nowhere near long enough or good enough. Charlton were well worthy winners.”

McGreal said on players reflecting on what happened and how to come back from this: “I do welcome that, but the proof is in the pudding. I believe actions speak louder than words.

“Some of them have played at higher levels. We’ve now got to get them guys back to that high again because there are some good players in there. It’s just about getting that confidence and trying to instil a bit of belief and just energise them.

“I’ll try my best. I’m in for a couple of games. We’ll see how that goes. My remit is to come in and try and energise the lads, try and get a couple of good results. It hasn’t worked tonight but we’ve got to go again, simple as. In football you win some, you lose some.

“We’re on a bit of a low at the moment, but you’ve got to go again because the games come thick and fast.”

Ipswich Town currently sit 11th in the League One table, taking 27 points from 21 games played and find themselves 9 points behind the playoffs with those above the Tractorboys with games in hand.

Twitter users reacted as the Ipswich interim boss speaks on ugly scenes that played out as fans confront players…

@sternejohn: As a Charlton fan watching tonight I must say your keeper was immense. Was shocked at how bad your team was, expected a reaction to Cook going. It will be interesting to see who replaces him, long way to go in the season yet.

@Jason_Bennett38: I’m mostly very proud to be an ITFC fan, but this is embarrassing.

@SarahDa90660104: However angry you are that’s not the way to get your point across, and no Nsiala shouldn’t have reacted either. I follow my team up or down but there is so much unrest right now, if this is how how fans and players are going to react I’ll keep my money 😢

@ealeyd: Feel for Toto, for all his limitations you cannot fault his effort and commitment. Evans, Morsy and Fraser are another matter though

@NyleGardiner: Walton without a doubt best player on the pitch today wtf is that guy doing man 🤦🏻‍♂️

@tomcafc: Easily one of the worst sides I’ve seen us play. We could/should of scored 10

@Sausagedog111: I like Ipswich got a good team there just need the right Manager to get them going

@Regularhero: No excuse for physically attacking Walton. But I think we all now tht all is not well, the bond between fans & players is still very new & being strained. The wheels are coming off a little here… we need a strong inspiring manager appointed soon! Not Bircham… #ITFC

@georgywalks: You boys moaning at Norwich week in week out 😂😂😂😂 you don’t know how good it is until you have lost it

@SanFranSully: Completely understand the reaction and damn right the fans should let the players how we feel. Really don’t understand having a go at Walton though…. our best player on the night and our best player this season!

@DJSmith2850: Why does one of the worst players ever to wear itfc shirt think appropriate to go up to fans after 2-0 defeat and 15 years of dross and start having a go at them?! 😂

@Dan_Crawford: Thought your keeper was your best player this evening

@hughes_jack2: Nsiala shouldn’t have a go at the travelling fans like that, but what is that fella doing charging at Walton like that? Embarrassing considering it sounded like he’s the one who prevented it being 5-0 +🤦‍♂️. #itfc

@Lionel_Von_Rock: Absolutely disgraceful behaviour we are all hurting but this is not on if that’s a fan that pushed Walton ban him you are not welcome at our club

@Jaymow1_18: Toto seemed furious with something that was said, no need for that fool to go at Walton like that!! he was our MOTM and he was trying to diffuse the situation by leading Toto away…… Life ban from stadiums!

@leeando70: disgraceful and embarrassing behaviour. Those involved if identified should be banned for life.

@shags1972: those fans a fucking disgrace to the club, hopefully the one who had a go at Walton gets a hefty ban coming.

@uptheaddicks9: Why’s the keeper been pushed? If it wasn’t for if it would have been 6!

@IpswichCulture: What you saw last night was the anger that’s boiled for the last 10-15 years all come out at FT. I don’t condone the physical abuse we saw, but nothing wrong with telling the players exactly how we feel. Maybe it’s the kick up the arse they need. This is Ipswich Town. Christian Walton BTW. Protect this man at all costs.Kept us in the game for 80 minutes, some unbelievable saves. For a fan to push him. Just wow. Would love us to sign him permanently, wouldn’t be surprised now if he doesn’t want to. Whopper of a fan.

@martw17: I can see the keeper get pushed which is ironic as he was their best player on the night.

@lfev11: fair play theyve got away with it for too long

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