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Press article:

Ipswich 3 Gillingham 4 - 04/11/2003

   Rodney Wallace
   Ipswich Town

TEENAGE defender Matt Richards today insisted any complacency in the Ipswich Town camp has been blown away.

The 19-year-old left back was stunned by the Blues' 4-3 home defeat at the hands of weekend guests Gillingham.

Richards, brought up through the Portman Road academy ranks, declared: "Defensively I know it looked pretty bad, but overall we didn't perform as a team like we have been doing.

"Our good results have been down to sound all-round team efforts and that wasn't the case on Saturday.

"Maybe we relaxed a bit too much and just thought it would happen. Possibly that was the case.

"Whatever it was, it mustn't happen again. We have to use this game as a sharp object lesson and make sure we learn from it."

Richards added: "We went into the game on a high and were really expected to win the day against a side that have not been having the best of times.

"It just didn't happen and you can point to mistakes defensively. Basically it was a case of the team not playing like a unit as it has been."

Richards, while pinpointing the disappointments with his own side, was quick to praise the visitors' display.

He said: "Mamady Sidibi was really sharp up front and there were others who also gave us a hard time. All credit to Gillingham as they played really well, but we have to take a hard look at

ourselves after a game like that.

"The fans went home very disappointed and we're so sorry about that. Just because you've been getting good results it doesn't mean to say that it has to continue. We must learn from what happened on Saturday."

Ian Westlake will be turning 20 soon and was delighted to grab his first senior goal as a teenager.

Westlake hit the Blues' opening goal but the end result tarnished the afternoon for the midfielder from Clacton who was hoping to be able to celebrate his goal with team-mates after the match.

He said: "The end result certainly ended any thoughts of anything like celebrating, but it was still a goal to savour.

"Shefki Kuqi made a great run down the left from almost inside our own half. He cut in between two defenders and I held back on my run slightly before making a good connection.

"It was great to see the ball go in. It was a truly wonderful feeling."

Gillingham keeper Jason Brown said: "The game looked a home banker to most people, but we certainly defied the odds and I think we deserved it.

"Ipswich are a good side who have been on a great run, but we showed what Gillingham can be about and I'm delighted for our supporters."

Rod Wallace, the striker who hit the opening goal for the Gills, said: "To win 4-3 away is a result that will stick in the memory for a long time.

"Ipswich have been producing some superb results, but I think we showed that we can well and truly live with the best on our day."

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