Often Partisan

Tractor Boys coming to town – the Ipswich preview

Tomorrow sees the visit of Paul Jewell’s Ipswich Town to St Andrews as Blues return to Championship action. This is one of the two games in hand that Blues have thanks to their participation in the Europa League, and is a good chance for the team to continue its push up the table.

Ipswich Town

Having read a popular unofficial Ipswich website, it’s easy to see that Ipswich are a club in crisis. An unpopular manager, a reclusive owner who doesn’t communicate with the press or the fans (where have we heard that one before) and a team decimated by a lack of investment add up to some unhappy punters.

Form-wise, they’re not doing too badly; having won two and drawn one of their last six – however, their league away form isn’t brilliant and only Doncaster Rovers have conceded more on their travels in the division. Ipswich are lying in a precarious 20th place and are looking nervously over their shoulders at the trapdoor to League One; the fans are restless and a poor start will possibly see them get on Jewell’s back.

One player who definitely won’t be returning to St Andrews is Lee Bowyer, who is out with a groin injury he picked up against Nottingham Forest. Jimmy Bullard may return after illness which kept him out of the FA Cup tie against Hull City (a team he coincidentally is suing for loss of earnings having been sacked for an alleged breach of team discipline) and on-loan Reading stopper Alex McCarthy may make his debut. Ipswich are struggling for players at centre-half, and are hoping to complete the loan signing of Chelmsley Wood-born Sean St Ledger from Leicester in time to play at Blues.

Birmingham City

Blues have a few injury worries of their own; Stephen Carr is definitely out with a knee injury and Liam Ridgewell and Pablo Ibanez are both doubts for the game. This leaves just four fit first team defenders (Spector, Davies, Caldwell and Murphy) and it means Chris Hughton is going to have to decide whether to put a rookie defender on the bench or chance it without any defensive cover. Guirane N’Daw has now left for the Senegalese squad in the Africa Cup of Nations and with Chris Wood having returned to the Albion Blues have just sixteen fully fit senior pros (including Jordon Mutch and Nathan Redmond).

Blues have average form at the moment, two wins, two draws and two defeats in their last six, but their home form is very good. Blues have the only undefeated home league record in the division (one of only six in the top four tiers of English football) and only Man City and Swansea have conceded fewer league goals at home this season in England than Blues.

Despite players being out this is a game we have to win; Ipswich as a club are shaking at the moment and Paul Jewell himself admits they’re prone to making mistakes. If we play with the pizzazz and verve shown against Blackpool we’ll surely win by a couple of goals.

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9 Responses to “Tractor Boys coming to town – the Ipswich preview”

  • JohnR says:

    Am I alone in being worried about how small the squad is. No defensive cover, only three strikers and we are only a couple of injuries or suspensions away from being in real trouble. With all the games that are coming up the lack of depth in the squad really concerns me.
    How can we possible sell players when we are in this position?
    Anyway back to Ipswich and as Almajir says this is a must win match.

  • skareggae72 says:

    Used to rate Jewell as a manager,although a google on his name brings up some,shall we say`incidents`which makes you think his mind is not totally focused on football management ;-)
    Thankfully our own`squeaky clean`Chris Hughton (should) guide us to another home win & to the position of 9th in the table………..nicely placed for a late season surge.

    • NooBloo says:

      Wouldnt it be fab if Jewell lost his job after losing to birmingham, much in the same way that Steve Mc Claren was. The irony being that both Forrest and Ipswich appointed Mc Claren and Jewell ahead of chris hughton for the managers job in both cases

  • Ali Duncan says:

    I agree with John, I think we’re threadbare at the back. This is clearly highlighted in Spector covering Carr’s injury. If Ridge is off this moNth then that leaves fewer options as Murphy would become first choice left back and we’ll have lost a player that can play centre back or left back.

    I see at least one centre back loan in the coming month.

  • BluePenguin 76 says:

    I agree, It is a concern being so short on first teamers!!..but hopefully we can bring in a couple of players on loan to tide us over and pray we don’t get many more injuries. I’m just hoping we can find the funds from somewhere deep in Yeungs/Pannu’s secret piggy bank!!

    Blues to win 2-1 tommorrow.

    KRO

  • jeff says:

    blues to win.oh and nobodies gone yet

    • skareggae72 says:

      The first 3 weeks of the transfer window is very much a waste of time,little happening,then in the final 4 or 5 hours it gets frenetic,then after it has “slammed shut” we will see what we are left with,my guess anyone who leaves will be replaced with a like for like cheaper option replacement.

  • poppa999 says:

    Any news about Valles? ;-)


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