Grant not afraid to drop big names

PUBLISHED: 13:34 20 November 2006 | UPDATED: 09:50 14 September 2010

DAVID CUFFLEY

Peter Grant defended his decision to change a winning team as his side crashed to derby defeat at Portman Road. Grant recalled Gary Doherty at the expense of 37-year-old Dion Dublin in the centre of defence and axed Youssef Safri from midfield to accommodate new signing Luke Chadwick - though Safri was ultimately unable to take his place among the substitutes because of flu'.

City boss Peter Grant defended his decision to change a winning team as his side crashed to derby defeat at Portman Road.

Grant recalled Gary Doherty at the expense of 37-year-old Dion Dublin in the centre of defence and axed Youssef Safri from midfield to accommodate new signing Luke Chadwick - though Safri was ultimately unable to take his place among the substitutes because of flu'.

But asked whether he regretted the changes after a dismal 3-1 defeat, he said: "No not at all. Dion wants to be judged as a striker but I also thought I may be able to use him late in the game because of the way the pitch is.

"I wasn't wanting him running about as a centre-back for half the game and then centre-forward for the next half, so that was one of the reasons why I changed it.

"Youssef was on the bench but he wasn't well this morning. He's got the flu' but I was leaving him out anyway.

"But no excuses. If you don't do the fundamentals properly, no matter what team it is and what players it is, you'll always struggle - and Ipswich did them well and we did them very poorly."

Even though Chadwick opened the scoring with a debut goal, Grant said City's 1-0 lead had been a false scoreline.

"We were awful. We've got to accept that. Even at 1-0 it was against the run of play and even when we had a good chance at 1-1 it would have been a total injustice to Ipswich.

"I thought we were very poor in everything we did today from start to finish. If you don't do the basics well in football you'll always struggle. Ipswich thoroughly deserved their victory."

Grant said City's performance justified his criticism of the players in previous games, even when they were winning.

He said: "Even in the games we were winning, people were saying I was being a bit critical of the team and now it shows you today why I was critical because I could see things all the time. I don't get carried away with results. It's about how we perform all the time.

"Results can hide a million things. People were talking about us coming into form here and Ipswich not being in form, and I said I wouldn't say we were in form either, but we were getting results. I wouldn't say the form was great. I think we were doing OK.

"We've got a million miles to go yet. I said that a few weeks ago and everybody thought I was being very critical after beating Cardiff, beating Birmingham, beating West Brom, beating Sunderland. I can roll them off but we still aren't good enough.

"I'm not one of these guys that frightens players and tells them I'm going to change this and that. I know we've got good, good players here, but if they don't do the basics well they'll not be in my side. They can have all the ability in the world but if they don't do the basics properly, they will not play. I don't give a monkeys who they are."

Town boss Jim Magilton said: "I was proud of my players. They played well all day. We spoke of the importance of making a bright start and setting a good tempo.

"We were hit by a sucker punch but we sent out the right signals to our fans.

"Alan Lee was outstanding and ran himself to a standstill. Danny Haynes will get hero status here and seems to enjoy local derbies."

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