Cieran Slicker: Ipswich goalkeeper eyeing first-team chance after cup roles

Ipswich Town goalkeeper Cieran Slicker says he came to Portman Road to play first-team football and will carry on pushing the club's more senior keepers hard to achieve that.

Slicker, 20, has had an encouraging start to his Town career, playing in both Carabao Cup victories.

He made a crucial save in the penalty-shootout win over Reading in the second round on Tuesday.

"I've loved it since the day I stepped in - it's been great," Slicker said.

A Scotland Under-21 international, Slicker joined Ipswich from Manchester City this summer having been at the Etihad Stadium since he was seven.

After a short loan spell with Rochdale last season, Slicker moved to Suffolk and has settled in very well.

"I can't thank the players and the staff enough for making me feel so welcome on and off the pitch," he told BBC Radio Suffolk.

"I feel really comfortable in the team and I've obviously got two wins to go with it.

"It was good to save one and get us through to the next round so I'm buzzing.

"I thrive on the pressure (of a penalty shootout) and I've got the mindset that 'I'm going to save it, I'm going to save it' so having that gives me a lot of confidence."

Despite not breaking into the first team at City under Pep Guardiola, Slicker did make several of the Spaniard's matchday squads and he is relishing the competition at Portman Road where he is up against current number one Vaclav Hladky, Christian Walton and fellow young keeper Nick Hayes for a starting spot.

"You can see with the depth we've got, if we've got an injury or suspension then boys can fit in perfectly," he said.

"There's real quality in the team but I'd say it's more of a squad than a team. Everyone trains really well and that's what I've noticed since I came here - everyone's application is amazing.

"I'm trying my best to keep up to that level, pushing Vas, pushing Nick and Christy when he's back.

"One of the reasons I came here was to try to get into the team. Vas has been amazing and we push each other and I think that's what we need.

"A competitive environment is important because if we don't have that then people settle down and can lay off - and that's not what we want."