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Ainsley confident of City promotion push
5:09pm Wednesday 13th March 2013 in Local Sport
YOUNG Ipswich Town defender Jack Ainsley, currently on loan at Chelmsford City, is certain that the contact book of manager Glenn Pennyfather has helped to keep squad numbers workable during spate of injuries.
The former England youth international revealed they’re desperate to “return to winning ways” after recent postponements.
Waterlogging caused last Saturday’s home game against Tonbridge Angels to be called off, then plans for the AFC Hornchurch derby at Melbourne on Monday night were scuppered by snow.
While that allowed extra time for some of Pennyfather’s players to recover, for those who are fit and itching to play it has proved to be an irritating time.
“I’ve been gutted the games have been off as I’ve been looking forward to them,” said Jack, who was handed a first league start for Town last August and has been involved in Championship squads this season.
“At Weston-super-Mare we didn’t do ourselves justice, which made the postponements even more frustrating because we’ve been hoping to return to winning ways. It’s important we move on to the next game and pick up points.”
Next for the Clarets, who are hoping to cement their place in the top five, are mid-table Bath City away on Saturday (3pm kick-off) then Farnborough at home on Monday night (7.45pm).
Ainsley’s arrival on February 26 has been aligned with mixed results for the Clarets, including a 2-0 reverse on his debut at Bromley, followed by a 3-1 win at Staines Town and a further defeat at Weston-super-Mare, 3-0.
Ainsley, who lined up at right-back for the Clarets on those three occasions, added: “They’ve been tough games recently. My first was at Bromley and none of us can say we played well.
“Then at Staines, which is a tough place to go, we built a decent lead, but when we conceded we still dug in and stuck together for a hard fought result.”
Pennyfather’s connections with Ipswich, one of his own former clubs from his playing days, have assisted during a time when numbers have been thin.
As well as youngsters from the Clarets’ youth set-up, he’s additionally been able to call upon Town left-back Joe Whight, and Ainsley said it was a combination of that transfer, plus influence from his ex-City brother Stuart, which helped influence him to spend time at Melbourne himself.
Having recently taken in a spell on loan at Histon to gain further experience, he said: “I knew the club well from when Stuart was here. I came to watch as many of his games as I could and I knew it was a good club, plus I’d attended a couple recently to watch Joe.
“Glenn had injuries to contend with before I arrived, and a few since I’ve been here too.
“He’s made the call to enquire about who might be available and we’re glad to help out because the Blue Square Bet South is a good standard. I still train at Ipswich like I normally do, except on Chelmsford match days.
“I train with City as well. Two of the main differences in the two levels are that the pitches aren’t quite the same plus this is a proper man’s game – you have to be stronger and you don’t get as much time on the ball.
“I’ve had a great welcome since I’ve been here because I didn’t know many of the lads when I arrived.
“I’ve been most impressed with the togetherness of the squad – whether we win, lose or draw, everybody is heading in the same direction.”
Jack also hopes the deal works out to the benefit of all concerned, adding: “It’s been an up and down season for me so far.
“I was in among the first team squads when Paul Jewell was in charge at Ipswich, but when a new man comes in with different ideas, things can change.
“I know I’ve got what it takes to compete at Championship level so it’s up to me to prove myself, get into the side and hold down a place.
“You try not to look at how other teams are getting on elsewhere as you can only affect your own results, but I have been keeping one eye on the opposition.
“I’m not sure what’s happening when my loan expires so I’m taking things game by game.
“If I return to Ipswich I’ll do my best to get back into the Championship squad, and if I get to stay we’ve got to be looking to get promoted because it’s long overdue for this club.”