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Bristol City 2 v 1 Ipswich Town
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 26th January 2013 Kick-off 15:00
McCarthy Could Make Changes for Trip to Bristol City
Friday, 25th Jan 2013 12:46

Mick McCarthy looks likely to make one or two changes to the Town side which disappointingly drew 1-1 at home to Barnsley as the Blues take on bottom-of-the-table Bristol City at Ashton Gate on Saturday. Despite the continuing bad weather this week, the game is not expected to be in any doubt.

The Blues boss admitted that his team were under-par against the Tykes and may look to freshen things up as he looks to put 13 points between the Blues and the table-propping Robins.

Scott Loach is set to keep his place in goal, although McCarthy has confirmed that he wants to add another keeper to his squad with Stephen Henderson's return on loan from West Ham possible.

Bristol City old boy Bradley Orr is set to play the final game of his loan spell before he returns to Blackburn at right-back, while Aaron Cresswell will be on the left and Tommy Smith and Luke Chambers in the centre.

The Town manager may look at changing things in the centre of the midfield with Andy Drury perhaps returning for Luke Hyam alongside Guirane N’Daw. Skipper Carlos Edwards and Lee Martin are set to continue on the flanks.

Up front, David McGoldrick is likely to keep his place, but McCarthy may choose to recall Daryl Murphy alongside him with Aaron Mclean having looked short on match sharpness since joining on loan from Hull City.

Town have a fully fit squad, aside from long-term absentee Paul Taylor, who is set to miss the rest of the season having undergone foot surgery.

It’s only a month since Town faced the Robins at home and McCarthy says that match, which ended 1-1, could have gone either way: “They played well, that could have been anybody’s game, as has been the case. I don’t think that there’s much between any of the teams mainly.

“There’s something that will happen in a game, maybe someone gets a bit of luck or there’s a bit of class or a good decision and the game opens up.

“That one was nip and tuck all the way through and I thought they played well. It was a different shape they played, 3-5-2 or 3-4-3, and it caused us problems as they’d never played it before.

“Since then they’ve got a new manager and they went back to 4-4-1-1 on Saturday at Leeds and actually they had the better chances in the game and then Leeds nicked it [1-0] late on.”

New City boss Sean O’Driscoll will be in charge of the Robins at home for the first time having been surprisingly sacked by Nottingham Forest on Boxing Day.

“I’ve met him at about six clubs this year already!” McCarthy joked. “He is a very quietly spoken, thoughtful football man. That’s just what he is.

“I thought he did really well at Doncaster, a really nice footballing team, and he inherited the Nottingham Forest job by being there as a coach under Steve Cotterill and I think they were a point off the play-offs when he got the sack. The game’s bonkers, don’t ask me anything about that.

“He’s got another good club, but he’s rock bottom at the minute, that’s a different set of circumstances.

“He set his team up to be hard to beat last week and they played well. I would imagine it’ll similar there - just don’t be too wide open and hope that they can take a chance. Circumstances dictate how you play when you inherit a team down the bottom of the league.”

The Town boss says his own side’s form since he took over at Portman Road illustrates that those struggling at the bottom of the table are no pushovers: “They’re a capable team and it’s been proven by us from being bottom of the league to where we are now.

“It’s been proven by Peterborough. They were bottom of the league and they went and beat Wolves, Bolton and Cardiff.

“Barnsley came here and played well last week and beat Leeds the week before. There’s no team yet that’s going to be written off and Bristol certainly aren’t.”

In terms of Town holding on to their own Championship status, McCarthy is confident that his squad is capable of doing so even without any further additions: “We’ll be all right because of the attitude of them, they’re fantastic. And I’m not saying that just for soundbites, that’s based on what they’ve achieved since November 1st.

“Since I’ve walked in here they’ve been terrific, the results that we’ve had, the points that we’ve taken, the manner in which we’ve played and we’ll be all right, providing we don’t get injuries or illness or suspensions.”

Robins boss O’Driscoll has been urged to get Ashton Gate bouncing in his first home game in charge: “I had a letter from one fan asking me to mention getting the ground bouncing in one of my press conferences.

“The letter alerted me to the fact [that former manager] Gary Johnson once did it and it generated a great atmosphere inside the stadium.

“Gary had great success at Bristol City and if I can emulate that in any way then it would be great. Perhaps asking fans to bounce is the secret!”

Winger Albert Adomah will miss out as he is away at the Africa Cup of Nations with Ghana, having been the subject of a rebuffed £1 million bid from Crystal Palace this week. The Blues and other Championship and Premier League clubs are also believed to have been eyeing the 25-year-old.

Central defender Stephen McManus has returned to Middlesbrough at the end of his loan spell, while former Boro skipper and ex-Blues loanee Matthew Bates has been suffering with flu. Bates had been on a short-term contract with the Robins which was up last week but has been given additional time to persuade O'Driscoll he is worthy of a longer term deal.

Striker Sam Baldock could be back from a calf injury, while midfielder Paul Anderson is expected to be fine despite limping off during the second half of last week’s defeat at Leeds.

The Robins have signed right-back Brendan Moloney from Nottingham Forest.

Former Blue Jon Stead - who was signed by Town boss McCarthy when he was at Sunderland - joined the Robins in August 2010 for £225,000, while defender Matthew Bates played two games on loan at Portman Road from Middlesbrough – including a 3-1 derby victory over Norwich - in 2006 before suffering one of several cruciate knee ligament injuries.

Striker Steven Davies was one of former Blues boss Paul Jewell’s top targets last summer, while former West Ham frontman Sam Baldock was also understood to have been on the Liverpudlian’s wish-list at one point. Keeper Tom Heaton was also linked with the Blues during the close season before joining the Robins.

Town’s loanee right-back Bradley Orr made 229 starts and 26 substitute appearances for Bristol City, scoring 13 goals, between July 2004 and August 2010.

Assistant manager Terry Connor played for the Robins between 1991 and 1993, while Town U18s coach Russell Osman has been a player, manager, coach and academy coach with the West Country club and still has his main home in the area.

Historically, Town have the edge, winning 28 (26 in the league), losing 17 (17) and drawing 12 (12). The Blues are unbeaten in nine against the Robins.

In December at Portman Road, Tommy Smith’s second goal of the season saw Town to a scrappy 1-1 home draw against Bristol City at Portman Road.

The Robins had gone in front via Neil Danns in the 11th minute and might have been further in front before Smith equalised on 32, the Blues having a couple of chances to win it late on.

The teams met at Ashton Gate most recently on the opening day of last season when debutant Michael Chopra’s Town career got off to dream start as he netted twice in a 3-0 victory.

The former Cardiff man – who has scored seven in 11 against City for his various clubs – netted one in each half with Lee Martin sandwiching Town’s second after the break.

Saturday’s referee is Stephen Martin from Staffordshire, who will be taking control of a Championship game for the first time. Prior to this season, Martin, who has shown 44 yellow cards and one red in 17 games so far during 2012/13, had refereed only one Football League match.

Squad from: Loach, Lee-Barrett, Orr, Hewitt, Cresswell, Mings, Kisnorbo, Chambers, Smith, N’Daw, Drury, Hyam, Edwards, Emmanuel-Thomas, Martin, Murphy, Chopra, Mclean, McGoldrick, Nouble.

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bluefeast added 13:11 - Jan 25
2.1 to us , coming from behind after being 1.0 down at half time ,Chopra X2 goals. I just feel it. COYB
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MaySixth added 13:25 - Jan 25
Will be tough. A draw wouldn't be the end of the world.
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algarvefan added 13:40 - Jan 25
WE really need to push on now and get some momentum back in the side, mid table will do me fine this year but if we are where we are now with 6 or 7 games left that will be worrying!!
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irishtim added 13:47 - Jan 25
Think murph has to play up front from the start tomorrow.
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hadleighboyblue added 14:26 - Jan 25
time to drop Martin or Carlos ?
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Mr_Jingles added 14:40 - Jan 25
Talking about the Chopra fixing case...... Surely ITFC should be able to sack him and get rid of him for good, before he costs us a load more money that he just ain't worth. After the club bailed him out with the loan sharks and paid for his rehab etc etc, It just shows what kind of person he is. Putting himself first all the time doesn't make for a good team player.
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kerryblue added 14:48 - Jan 25
Totally agree Mr jingles I dont know why we have been even payinng him this season for what he has done,use it as an excuse to get rid of him as its gross missconduct and tarnishes the name of ITFC.
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tractorfact added 15:11 - Jan 25
yeah its a shame but chops just hasnt done anything for us really
DJ made more impact then him in a short stint
Am I mistaken or are we yet to win without him after he went back
hmmm
Cmon McGoldrick fire a couple in 2moro mate
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muccletonjoe added 15:30 - Jan 25
Edwards keeps his place and Hyam gets dropped. ???
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Keaneish added 15:43 - Jan 25
Never going to happen but...

Drury in for N'Daw
Chopra in for Mclean
Murphy in for Edwards and move Martin to the right.
JET to come off the bench
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Michael11 added 15:44 - Jan 25
Murphy/McGoldrick have to be up front tomorrow. Drury is quite a good player away from home although Hyam played well last week but Edwards and Martin have to show us something tomorrow because they haven't been good enough for quite a number of weeks!!
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footyblue added 16:23 - Jan 25
we need to change both wide men I'd play Carson and Drury wide
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Ipswichbusiness added 17:31 - Jan 25
Pone of those must win games if we are to get away from the foot of the table. A draw isn't good enough I'm afraid.
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Berts_chin added 17:43 - Jan 25
I'd go along with Murphy in for McLean and Drury for Hyam, I'd also take a punt at Hewitt wide right in place of Edwards. Hewitt would give excellent defensive cover, can deliver a ball and can't be any less effective than Carlos has been at going forward.
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blues1 added 19:31 - Jan 25
mr jingles. of course the club could sack chopra if this offence had occurred while he was an ipswich player. but it didnt. so i suspect they unable to do so even if they wanted this was all part of his gambling addiction which he is now trying to sort out with the help of the club. hopefully this punishment will indeed help him to finally conquer a problem hes had for years and he can start to get back to form. because at the end of the day, if he should, it will only be of benefit to itfc.
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Talbs77 added 19:33 - Jan 25
I just hope we go there and are really positive, much like Barnsley were at our place last week.

Lets go there and have a real go!
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TimmyH added 20:08 - Jan 25
Time for our first win of the year, really expecting 3 points - whether that will be the case we will see but we do seem to play better away than at home over recent months.
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carsey added 20:28 - Jan 25
Like the sound of Hewitt playing wide right but I would drop Martin and put Edwards on the left. Just so long as JET doesn't start we can't afford anyone who isn't going to work hard. If we are 3 nil up with 15 min to go give him a run.
Essential thing is don't get beaten.
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ericclacton added 20:38 - Jan 25
He will start with the same eleven.
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IvorFeeling added 22:44 - Jan 25
Sure that Murphy will come in and i can see Martin being dropped.

Chopra needs to wake up and smell the coffee as he is lucky to be at such a forgiving club who has bailed him out. At 29 its not too late but if he doesn't knukle down then he'll end up with major regrets when he finishes and likely broke. Bristol City, if he is in the squad should be a welcome site - if i ever had a labotomy an found myself in his situation then i would welcome the time on the pitch as my chance to prove them wrong. No prizes for guessing he won't be my selection or player of the year.

Rant over, big game tomorrow and one we mustn't lose imo. COYB
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Tractastic added 23:16 - Jan 25
MM is managing well to keep this average team he has inherited above the relegation zone.Hopefully come the summer he will want to see the likes of Chopra,Martin,Edwards,Drury ,Ellington and a few others go .?
Chopra in particular has been bad news and without any benefits on the pitch how easy must that decison be?
Who would be a manager when you have that midfield to pick from.?
Hoping for a forward pass and COYB's its a 6 pointer?
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Walk_the_Wark added 00:09 - Jan 26
For gods sake play chops from the start- best striker we have - by a mile. Play Hyam and work hard = we will win
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IvorFeeling added 08:34 - Jan 26
walk the walk. Re Chopra on talent maybe but by performance this year no chance.
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Popeye added 09:59 - Jan 26
Based on previous results against fellow teams near the bottom of the league, a draw is a likely result today. Bit suprised BC in bottom 3 because on paper they've got quite a good squad. Thankfully Adomah is at Africa Cup of Nations as he would have caused our defence problems.
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alfromcol added 14:51 - Jan 26
Loach, Orr, Chambers, Smith, Cresswell, Edwards, Hyam, N'Daw, Martin, Murphy, McGoldrick
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