Mark McGuinness helped Ipswich Town to another clean sheet in midweek, as his loan spell appears to be getting back on track.

Mark McGuinness with Ipswich Town (Photo via Ipswich Town on Twitter)
Mark McGuinness with Ipswich Town (Photo via Ipswich Town on Twitter)

Purely looking at the stats from his loan spell so far, it would sound like Mark McGuinness is having a strong season away. He’s now played 24 games, helping his team to a respectable nine clean sheets in matches he’s started.

The centre-back also made his debut for the Republic of Ireland u21s, featuring for them in both November and March. Yet it hasn’t all been smooth sailing.

Before his current run in the team, McGuinness had spent 14 consecutive games unable to get a single minute on the pitch. He’d made the bench five times, travelled with the squad on a few more occasions as the extra man, but he just couldn’t get a chance.

Fortunately, he returned to the starting lineup in mid-April, and he’s become a regular starter again since then. Three of his nine clean sheets came in the last five games, most recently helping to keep Shrewsbury Town out on Tuesday.

Ipswich don’t have much to play for, going into the final day of the season hoping to secure their position in ninth place in League One. But McGuinness will just be looking to end on a high note ahead of the summer, and that’s what he’s doing right now.

Looking back on his season, WhoScored report McGuinness has proven very strong in the air and in making interceptions, as well as maintaining a good pass accuracy. However, his weaknesses are the individual errors that likely led to his initial exclusion.

The centre-back is an indirect set-piece threat, he likes to play short passes and make clearances, though he also makes a lot of fouls. As a 20-year-old defender, he’s got plenty of time to iron out the kinks in his game.