|Ipswich Town 1 v 2 Northampton Town|
Capital One Cup
Tuesday, 9th August 2011 Kick-off 19:45
Jewell to Ring Changes for Northampton Cup Tie
Tuesday, 9th Aug 2011 10:17
Town boss Paul Jewell will ring the changes tonight when his side take on Northampton in the first round of the Carling Cup at Portman Road (KO 7.45pm). The Blues boss has confirmed that Arran Lee-Barrett will start in goal, while Tommy Smith will return to the defence, Nathan Ellington is likely to make his first start for Town up front and 15-year-old Byron Lawrence is set to be amongst the subs.
Jewell said: “There will be a few changes. We’ll be giving some players who haven’t played a lot of football a game. It will be up to them to make it difficult for me to leave them out in the future.
“It’s a game which gives people an opportunity to play competitive football. It’s a big thing because we’ve got some decent players who are out of the team and it’s an opportunity for them. They will be looking further than just playing well tomorrow night.”
With Damien Delaney out with an ankle injury which saw him withdraw from the Republic of Ireland squad, Jewell admits he is short of central defenders to fill the bench: “I don’t think we’ve got one!
“Right throughout the club we are struggling for cover in that area. It’s something that we need to improve and we need to get another one in.
“I think we’ve only got [second-year scholar] big Jide Maduako at centre-half and he’s very inexperienced. It’s an area where we do need to improve.”
The Town boss isn’t expecting an easy night against the League Two club, who the Blues beat 3-1 at home at the fourth round stage on their way to last season’s semis: “They’ll be coming here really looking forward to playing at Portman Road.
“We’re the favourites, they’re the underdogs. Everyone is expecting us to win on paper, but we all know there will be a few shocks on the night but we don’t want to be one of them.”
Jewell is surprised his Cobblers counterpart is managing at such a relatively low level: “He was manager of Latvia and he did a really good job at Bristol City. I’m not sure what happened there and for some reason he’s found himself out of the top two leagues.
“He’s good manager and I’m sure given the right time he’ll be successful at Northampton, I just hope it’s not against us.”
Second guessing Jewell’s starting line-up is far from easy, other than Lee-Barrett, who will start in goal and centre-halves Ívar Ingimarsson and Tommy Smith, the only available options.
The Town manager will probably continue with Aaron Cresswell and Carlos Edwards in the full-back positions, although Joe Whight – who would be making his debut - and Jack Ainsley are outsiders for the roles.
In the centre of midfield Jewell has plenty of alternatives, although he’ll probably rest Mark Kennedy – who may be seen as emergency central defensive cover - and will probably switch to 4-4-2. The Blues boss could stick with skipper Grant Leadbitter and Lee Bowyer or he could bring in any of Andy Drury, Colin Healy and Luke Hyam.
Drury, Healy or forgotten man Jaime Peters could also be in with a shout of occupying wide roles with Lee Martin perhaps being rested. Jay Emmanuel-Thomas could keep his place wide on the left.
Up front, weekend hero Michael Chopra could be left out to allow Nathan Ellington and Jason Scotland to get a game under their belts. Emmanuel-Thomas might be given a run-out up front, in which case Scotland will probably be amongst the subs.
Tamás Priskin is in the Hungary squad and Josh Carson is with the Northern Irish U21s. David Stockdale is with England ahead of the now called off Holland match but in any case is unavailable for the Carling Cup under the terms of his loan.
Jewell has confirmed that academy second-year keeper Cody Cropper, 18, will be on the bench for the first time. The US U20 international recently signed a one-year professional contract.
Academy schoolboy Byron Lawrence, a 15-year-old attacking midfielder, who can also play off the main striker, is set to be included in the 18 and could become the club’s youngest-ever player at 15 years and 150 days if he comes on as a sub, beating Connor Wickham’s record of 16 years and 11 days by 226 days.
Diminutive Lawrence, who is yet to play a reserve game but was a regular in the U18s last season, was recruited from non-league side Histon’s youth set-up. Some fans may recall him from last season’s showcase U15s friendly against Manchester United when he captained the Blues.
Joe Whight is likely to join Lawrence amongst the subs if he doesn’t start, while another second-year scholar, Northern Ireland U19 international midfielder Cormac Burke, who also recently put pen to paper on a one-year professional deal, and second-year pro Jamie Griffiths may also be included.
Northampton skipper John Johnson could miss out with a dead leg he suffered in the goalless home draw with Accrington Stanley on Saturday.
Cobblers boss Gary Johnson, a resident of Suffolk when manager of Newmarket Town, said: "Jonno has got a hematoma of the thigh which might stay around for a few days yet. We will keep an eye on it but we have got two or three options.
"I don't want to change the team around too much but it might be a chance for Ashley Westwood or Nick McKoy to come in, or Ben Tozer could also move back there.
"We are a little bit thin on the ground in terms of numbers, but generally I don't tend to rest players for the sake of it. I like to try and keep that continuity and I only tend to leave players out if they have picked up a knock and can't play because of injury.
"We can't make wholesale changes anyway but even if we could I probably wouldn't in this instance."
Johnson is hoping Town leave out Michael Chopra: “Our defence will be tested, there’s no way it won’t be. He is a very clever striker and it felt like my team played against him every other week when he was at Cardiff and I was at Bristol.
“He’s clever in that he can be out of a game and then pop up in the most dangerous of areas, unnoticed. So you’ve really got to concentrate on where he is but with a bit of luck they’ll rest him.”
The sides most recently met in the same competition last season at the fourth round stage, also at Portman Road, Town winning 3-1.
Carlos Edwards, Damien Delaney and Tamás Priskin scored the goals as the Blues came from behind to win after a deflected Liam Davis shot had put the League Two side in front.
Historically, the Blues have won 12 games between the teams (nine in the league), 10 (seven) have been draws with Northampton winning 10 (10). No player from either side has previously represented the other.
Town have confirmed that the game is not in any danger of being postponed due to the rioting in London.
Tonight’s referee is Michael Naylor from South Yorkshire, who showed 54 yellow cards and one red in 24 games last season. It will be Naylor’s first Town match.
Squad from: Lee-Barrett, Cropper, Edwards, Cresswell, Ainsley, Whight, Inigimarsson, Smith, Kennedy, Leadbitter, Bowyer, Healy, Drury, Hyam, Peters, Lawrence, Martin, Emmanuel-Thomas, Griffiths, Burke, Ellington, Scotland, Chopra, Murray.
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