Shaun's Clear Thinking

SHAUN Newton has called for his team-mates to clear their minds of Saturday's first-leg and focus now on getting the win at Portman Road which would take them into the Play-off Final.

The former Charlton and Wolves midfielder believes that the tie is finally poised after the 2-2 draw at Upton Park and now the Hammers must start afresh in the second leg.

"The tie is really tight and it's going to be tense and tough at Portman Road," he said. "Over the next three days we've got to concentrate on getting the first leg out of our minds and focussing all our energy on winning up there.

"We know that we can perform on the big stage and there's plenty of belief in the squad. After Saturday we were disappointed, because we felt that we had them in the first-half.

"The crowd gave us a magnificnet reception and the atmosphere when we started the game was just unbelievable. The players all responded to that. We got after Ipswich straight away and they found it really tough.

"They were barely in it during the first-half, but they got a good break just before half-time with the free-kick and they took advantage of that.

"It was a blow for us, but we've got enough belief and determination to pick ourselves up and do the business at Portman Road."

Shaun is expecting another sparkling atmosphere at Portman Road and believes the Hammers fans could play just as crucial a role as they did in the first leg.

"The home fans were fantastic on Saturday," he said, "and I think they have to take credit for the way we started the game.

"The atmosphere was so pumped up it was impossible for us not to come out firing, it was just disappointing we couldn't hold on to that momentum.

"But I think the position we are in now could suit us. It's going to very difficult at Portman Road, but our away record at the top teams this season has been excellent and that's definitely something we can draw on going into the game.

"Our fans away from home have been crucial for us this season, and we'll need them again at Portman Road generating the kind of support they did at Upton Park on Saturday.

"The tie effectively starts again after the draw and we're going to go there at Portman Road ready to take advantage."